Rep. Knodl Wins Republican Primary in SD 8

In Wisconsin’s spring primary, held February 21, Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) defeated two other candidates in a Republican primary for the 8th Senate District. The seat is currently vacant after Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) retired on December 1 last year, in the middle of her eighth term. Gov. Evers ordered a special election, coinciding with the April 4 spring election, to fill the seat for the remainder of its current term ending January 2025. The election will determine whether the Republican Party maintains a two-thirds, veto-proof majority of 22 members in the Senate.

About 24,500 votes were cast in the Republican primary; the results were as follows:

  • Dan Knodl: 56.8%
  • Janel Brandtjen: 27.9%
  • Van Mobley: 15.2%

Rep. Knodl will face Democratic candidate Jodi Habush Sinykin, an attorney specializing in environmental law. A resident of Whitefish Bay, Habush Sinykin worked for Midwest Environmental Advocates from 2003 until 2020. She did not have a primary opponent.

The other Republican candidates were Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) and Van Mobley (village president of Thiensville). Rep. Brandtjen, who continues to question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

The 8th Senate District covers a mostly suburban area north and northwest of the City of Milwaukee. It is a Republican-leaning district that U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R) won with 54.2 percent of the vote in 2022, while Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels won the district more narrowly with 51.5 percent of the vote.

For more information about the April 4 election, see the following articles: