Nomination papers were due last week for the January special elections to fill the vacant 10th Senate District and 58th and 66th Assembly Districts. The candidates are now finalized and set for the Dec. 19 primaries. The primaries later this month will be essential in deciding the Assembly races in the heavily Republican 58th and heavily Democratic 66th. The 10th Senate District is expected to stay in Republican hands, but some will consider it a Wisconsin test case post the Virginia November 2017 elections that saw heavy republican districts go to the Democrats. Keep an eye on Hamilton’s 2018 Election Issue Update for primary results and analysis as the elections approach.
58th Assembly District
Four Republicans will face off in the primary for this seat that was vacated in October when Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend) passed away. The 58th District is located northwest of Milwaukee and contains West Bend.
- Tiffany Koehler served as a legislative staffer under Gannon after losing to him in a 2014 primary for the 58th Assembly seat. Koehler is a veteran and an organizational leader in the Milwaukee area.
- Spencer Zimmerman ran against U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) in the 2016 election, losing to Ryan 65 to 3 percent. Zimmerman has also run for the 99th and 48th state Assembly seats, but has never been elected to office.
The winner of the primary will go up against Democrat Dennis Degenhardt in January.
66th Assembly District
The 66th Assembly District will become vacant in January following the resignation of Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) who was recently sworn in as Racine mayor. The election will essentially be decided by the primary between the two Democratic candidates.
- Greta Neubauer was a former legislative aide to Mason. Neubauer is the daughter of former state Representative Jeff Neubauer and state Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer.
10th Senate District
The 10th Senate District seat in the River Falls area was recently vacated by Gov. Scott Walker’s appointment of Sheila Harsdorf as Department of Trade, Agriculture and Consumer Protection secretary. Harsdorf has held the seat since 2000 and most recently beat Democrat Diane Odeen 63-37 percent in the 2016 election. There will be a Republican and Democratic primary before the general election in January.
- State Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) was first elected to the Assembly in 2014. Jarchow is an attorney and currently chairs the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties and is the vice-chair of the Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions.
- State Rep. Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls) was elected as a freshman representative in 2016. Zimmerman is a small business owner and chairs the Assembly Ways and Means subcommittee on Excise Taxes and Fees.
- John Calabrese, from Glenwood City, owns a woodworking shop and worked as the legislative director of an all-volunteer anti-corruption group.
- Reuben Helge Herfindahl is a River Falls resident who owns and is the lead engineer of a small computer-service company Digital Brigade.
- Patty Schachtner is the St. Croix County Medical Examiner, a Somerset school board member, and formerly a Star Prairie Town Board member.
The Republican and Democratic winners of the primaries will also face Libertarian Brian Corriea in the general.