April 15, 2014

Longtime Assembly incumbents lose seats

A couple of long time Assembly Democrats from Milwaukee lost their seats in the Tuesday primary. Peggy Krusick, who represented parts of the city for 29 years, only received about a third of the vote in her newly-configured district. She lost to UW-Madison law student Daniel Riemer, 25, who will not have a Republican challenger in November. Rep. Jason Fields was defeated by community organizer Mandela Barnes. Fields only got 32 percent of the vote in his newly-shaped district.

The race leading up to Tuesday’s election also saw lingering resentment over the bitter battle over union rights. Two GOP state representatives, who went against their party in opposing Governor Walker’s union changes, survived their primary challenges. Neenah Republican Dean Kaufert got almost two-thirds of the vote in winning his primary, while Cuba City Republican Travis Tranel won with 64 percent.

A state senator, whose backing of Walker’s labor changes led to his unsuccessful recall election last summer, also won his primary. Ripon Republican Luther Olsen easily defeated Tea Party member David Eiler with 77 percent of the vote.

The Republican-led state legislature carved out new election districts last year, a process that occurs every decade following population changes tracked by the U.S. Census.