Elections Update – July 17th, 2014

Rhetoric Heats up in 6th CD Race

The election rhetoric is heating up in the 6th Congressional District, where four GOP candidates are vying to be the Republican candidate during the November election. At the start of July, press releases were passed back and forth as three of the Republican candidates responded to a disagreement over an Ozaukee county debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV).

Republican candidates Joe Leibham and Glenn Grothman announced they would not be attending the July 14th forum sponsored by the Wisconsin LWV. The Wisconsin LWV has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Photo Voter ID law in the Wisconsin Supreme Court; a law that was considered a win for Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature this past session.

In a statement, Grothman’s campaign explained the reason for not participating in the debate, “[Senator Grothman] doesn’t see it necessary to participate in a debate sponsored by an organization completely opposed to conservative Republican principles of election integrity…” Leibham explained his refusal to participate as well, “No Republican candidate dedicated to voter ID reform should be participating in events hosted by an organization dedicated to stopping the voter ID requirement I worked for nearly a decade to get signed into law.”

The debate did go as scheduled between State Representative Duey Stroebel and Tom Denow of Oshkosh, but not before Stroebel took shots at Leibham’s lack of participation, “Senator Leibham’s decision to avoid these forums, despite what his campaign told mine just days ago, falls in line with the decision he and his Senate friends made to avoid passing conservative reforms this past session. If it might be difficult, Senator Leibham prefers to pass.” Stroebel and Denow also plan to attend the Leagues Winnebago County forum on July 21st.

The 6th Congressional District seat is open for the first time in nearly 40 years, as Congressman Tom Petri announced his retirement this past spring. The primary election day is August 12th, and the general election will be held November 4th, 2014.

Walker Fund Raisers More Than Burke

According to mid-year filings, Governor Walker raised nearly $8.3 million to Democratic candidate Mary Burke’s $5.4 million during the first half of 2014.

The Walker campaign attributes its high fundraising numbers to the enthusiasm of Wisconsin voter’s support to re-elect the Governor. The Burke campaign reports that 95% of contributions were $100 or less, highlighting Burke’s grassroots support.

Final numbers are not due to Wisconsin’s Government Accountability until July 31st, and while fundraising numbers are a great indicator for resources available to the candidate, the real indicator will come next week, when Marquette University is expected to release the latest poll on the Wisconsin election. In the last Marquette University poll, Burke and Walker were tied at 46%.