Wisconsin August Primary Update

The Wisconsin 2020 Primary was relatively uneventful when considering the state of Wisconsin politics over the last decade. It also proved to be a very good night for incumbents.

In Congressional races, Majority Leader Fitzgerald (R- Juneau) cruised to victory in the 5th CD and is the odds-on favorite to win in November. There were nine legislative incumbents who faced primaries, eight of them easily won all eclipsing 60 percent of the vote. The ninth, Staush Gruszynski (D- Green Bay), lost his Green Bay Assembly Seat to Kristina Shelton 79-21. Gruszynski is facing sexual harassment allegations and had previously been stripped of his committee positions. Shelton had the endorsement of a number of elected officials as well as over $100,000 in funding from the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee.

All the open seats that featured an incumbent or former incumbent were won by those with previous electoral experience. State Assembly Reps Rob Stafsholt (R- New Richmond), Joan Ballweg (R- Markesan), Melissa Sargent (D- Madison) all won their primaries with two-thirds of the vote. Former Assembly Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Kelda Helen Roys (D) won her seven-way primary election by a comfortable margin as did former Secretary-designee and candidate Brad Pfaff (D). Jonathon Hansen (D), nephew of retiring State Senator Dave Hansen won his primary as did perennial candidate Julian Bradley (R) who got to 41 percent in a five-way primary. Ballweg, Sargent, Roys, and Bradley are all expected to win in November.

There were several races on both sides of the aisle that produced likely winners in November. We will highlight those winners in the weeks to come as we careen toward a November election that is going to be anything but uneventful.