Liberal cruises in Wisconsin court race, and Dems see hope

Posted April 05, 2018

Walker tweeted Tuesday night after Rebecca Dallet easily defeated Michael Screnock in the Supreme Court race.

Elections for state Supreme Court are officially nonpartisan, but each candidate in this race had clear partisan backing.

Those same "Big government special interests" that flooded Wisconsin with "distorted facts and misinformation" will next employ their winning strategy against him, he predicted. "We are still only 20 percent of the judges in Wisconsin, and I'm thrilled to be part of a Supreme Court that includes mostly women".

"I'm the candidate with the most experience, really standing up for the rights of Wisconsinites every day and I think people saw that and spoke out today and I'm quite excited by it, by the results".

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"Tonight is a huge loss for Gov. Scott Walker, more so even than Judge Michael Screnock, as Walker's endorsement, philosophy and politics were on the ballot", Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairwoman Martha Laning said in a statement Tuesday.

He said Republicans can make that happen this year, and Democrats will have to show what they've done in Tuesday's election can be transferable to legislative and midterm races.

Screnock, a Sauk County circuit judge, was endorsed by Walker and backed by about $400,000 from the state GOP. (It also means six of the seven Justices are women). Not counting votes in Dane and Milwaukee Counties, Screnock won by just 8,500 votes, or 1 percentage point. And it's the first time a liberal candidate has won a race for an open seat on the court since 1995.

"Tonight's results show we are at risk of a #BlueWave in WI", Walker tweeted Tuesday evening. Politically, it will be widely interpreted as a possible omen for November, when Republican Governor Scott Walker, Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, all members of the GOP-controlled State Assembly, and half the GOP-controlled State Senate will face voters.

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Dallet's victory cuts conservative control of the state's highest court from 5-2 to 4-3. Randy Bryce called the Dallet win "a rallying cry for working folks".

Screnock was backed by the state chamber of commerce, National Rifle Association and state Republican Party.

Democrats, who have been starved for electoral victories since Walker and Republicans swept into power in 2010 amid a national recession, were quick to celebrate the win as a sign Walker's days as governor are numbered.

Doug Clawson, 58, a communications professional who cast his ballot at a Madison public library, said, "People are pretty motivated on the left, from what I can see".

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But he added that it was "safe to say" that "Mueller is not prone to exaggeration, so they probably have this tightly tied down". Van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen, is a former associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a prominent USA -based law firm.

He said a Dallet win "would send a message that we're not kidding around here and maybe to borrow an axiom from the right: We're going to take our country back".