Voters head to the polls this Tuesday to help narrow down the field in a state Supreme Court race.
Incumbent Justice David Prosser faces three challengers on the primary ballot, as he seeks a second ten-year term on the Supreme Court. The judicial conservative says his experience on the bench should make him a good choice for voters. Prosser believes he has been a quality and impartial justice on the court.
Those challenging Prosser disagree, and all have made attacks against the Justice’s record and conservative background during the primary campaign.
Marla Stephens works in the Office of the State Public Defender. She says Prosser’s past as a Republican lawmaker has shown in his decisions, and argues she brings a fresh perspective to the court.
Madison attorney Joel Winnig says he’s running because of concerns about Prosser’s integrity. He points to a split-ruling from members of the court last summer, where Prosser decided against disciplining fellow Justice Michael Gableman over an inflammatory campaign ad. Winnig says Prosser sided with a fellow conservative, and he wants to restore integrity to the court because of that decision.
JoAnne Kloppenburg is an Assistant Attorney General in the state Department of Justice. She says members of the court should not act like legislators and should shed their political beliefs and personal views while serving on the bench.
In the primary, Prosser, Winnig, and Kloppenburg have all accepted public financing of $100,000 under the state’s Impartial Justice law. Stephens elected to raise funds privately, but has only been able to collect about $38,000 from supporters.
The top two in Tuesday’s primary go on to the general election in April.