Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel will be Wisconsin’s next attorney general. The veteran prosecutor defeated Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ on Tuesday to win the job being vacated by Republican attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, in a race that drew the attention of many voters due to the number of negative television ads.
Schimel, 49, has served as D.A. in Waukesha County for 25 years. He was endorsed by Van Hollen along with numerous law enforcement groups. The 42-year-old Happ faced an uphill battle, although in the final Marquette Law School Poll before Election Day, Schimel led Happ by 43 percent to 39 percent, just outside the poll’s margin of error. More than 70 percent of registered voters also said they had not heard enough about, or didn’t have an opinion of either candidate.
The two prosecutors debated four times – twice more than gubernatorial candidates Scott Walker and Mary Burke. They staked out little common ground, although both said they’d require evidence that it would improve public safety, before pushing for making first offense drunk driving a criminal offense in Wisconsin.