The race started off unusually early this year with two candidates declaring their candidacies in mid-June. They are Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Joe Donald and State Court of Appeals Judge JoAnn Kloppenburg. Judge Donald was appointed to the bench in 1996. Judge Kloppenburg was elected to the state court of appeals in 2012.
Following Justice N. Patrick Crooks’ September announcement that he would not be seeking re-election and his untimely passing several days later, a temporary vacancy opened on the state’s highest court. Gov. Scott Walker announced he would take applications to fill the vacancy, and that applications would be due October 2. After being appointed by Governor Walker on Oct. 9, Rebecca Bradley has been serving on the court in the temporary position.
Bradley announced she would be running for the Supreme Court just days before Justice N. Patrick Crooks announced his retirement. Bradley was appointed to a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judgeship in 2012 and won a re-election to the position in May 2013. Walker again promoted Bradley with an appointment to the First District Court of Appeals in May of this year.
In late October, Madison attorney Claude Covelli entered the race to create a four way primary. Covelli has represented insurance companies and accident victims, and won a case representing an insurance company before the Supreme Court this year.
The Supreme Court primary election will be held on February 16, 2016, and the general election will be April 6.