In less than two weeks, on August 12th, voters will head to the polls to pick their party candidates for hundreds of state and local government positions, and this year’s non-presidential election may actually be quite influential, with nearly 30 open state legislative seats, an open congressional seat, and other executive branch seats being hotly contested.
When it comes to deciding who will be on the ballot in November for Wisconsin’s next governor, the choices have mostly been made. Gov. Scott Walker will be the only Republican on the primary ballot. Mary Burke (though she stands opposed with Rep. Brett Hulsey also on the Democratic ticket) will almost certainly be the Democratic candidate for governor in November, after a recent Marquette University Law School poll found that less than one percent of those polled said they would vote for someone other than Burke or Walker.
How are they fairing against each other? The recent MU Poll has them in a “dead heat”.
Executive Branch Elections
The biggest executive branch primary to follow is the open race for State Attorney General, currently held by J.B. Van Hollen (R). Only one Republican, Brad Schimel, is running for the position, but the Democratic candidate for the November ballot will be decided by the August primary, as Susan Happ, Ismael Ozanne, and Jon Richards, vie for the Democratic candidate ticket.
The State Treasurer’s position is also open, though the overall importance of this election is being debated, as some candidates are running for the seat in order to dissolve the position and office of the State Treasurer entirely.
Out of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts, only one is being hotly contested as U.S. Rep. Tom Petri announced he would not be running for re-election. The seat, held by a Republican for nearly forty years, is the one to watch on August 12, as four Republican candidates are hoping to win the primary and then sweep the general election in the conservative 6th District. Running as Republican candidates are Tom Denow, Sen. Glenn Grothman, Sen. Joe Leibham, and Rep. Duey Stroebel.
State Senate and Assembly
With a record number of retirements and notices of non-candidacy this spring, there will be a huge freshman class of legislators sworn into the State Senate and Assembly in January. 22 Assembly districts (15 held by Republicans, 7 held by Democrats, previously) and 7 Senate districts (4 Republican, 3 Democratic) are open for the taking this November, and the primaries are packed with contenders.