Following Tuesday's primaries, Wisconsin's Congressional delegation knows their November opponents. Turn out for the primaries Tuesday was light as expected, with some winners having less than a thousand votes. With no Democratic opponent, Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner has virtually won another term. The Menomonee Falls House member got 78-percent of the vote yesterday to defeat primary challenger Jim Burkee. Also yesterday, Kevin Barrett, who claimed 9/11 was an inside job when he lectured at UW Madison, won a Libertarian House primary defeating Ben Olson. Barrett will now face Incumbent Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse and Republican Paul Stark of Eau Claire. Marge Krupp of Kenosha County won a three-way Democratic primary, and will face GOP Congressman Paul Ryan in November. And Democrat Roger Kittleson of Lomira won the right to go against Republican House incumbent Tom Petri of Fond du Lac.
Eleven Assembly lawmakers survived primary challenges. The dean of the Assembly, 38-year veteran Marlin Schneider of Wisconsin Rapids, beat out Democrat Thad Kubisiak. Republican Kitty Rhoades of Hudson, who co-chairs the Joint Finance Committee, had 87-percent of the vote over Republican Bob Hughes. Also advancing were GOP reps John Townsend of Fond du Lac and Dan LeMehieu of Cascade, as well as Milwaukee Democrats Pedro Colon, Barbara Toles, Christine Sinicki, Leon Young, and Polly Williams. Democrats Tony Staskunas of West Allis and Gary Sherman of Port Wing also moved forward.
Six of the 11 were virtually reelected, since they have no major party opposition in November. Abortion rights advocate Kelda Helen Roys of Madison won a six-way Democratic Assembly primary to replace retiring Democrat David Travis. She'll have no GOP opponent in November. Former Assembly Democrat Peter Barca of Kenosha won his old job back, easily defeating Jim Huff with no GOP challenger. In western Wisconsin, Democrat Chris Danou of Trempealeau and Republican Dave Hegenbarth of Galesville won their primaries to try and replace retiring Democrat Barb Gronemus of Whitehall. The closest Assembly primary had Democrat Ted Zigmunt of Francis Creek beating Lee Brocher of Two Rivers by just four votes. A recount is expected, and the winner will face GOP incumbent Frank Lasee. Also, Dan Kohl, nephew of US Senator Herb Kohl, took third in a four-way Democratic Assembly primary in Milwaukee.
State Representative Jeff Wood of Chetek, who angered Republican leaders by defecting, will have to defeat somebody from his old party to keep his job. Wood, who's now an independent, was the only candidate on yesterday's primary ballot in the 67th Assembly District. But Republican Don Moga got enough write in votes to have his name on the general election ballot for November.
Democrats can take back the Assembly in November with a net gain of three seats.