It’s going to be a long process in determining the winner. Here is a pretty up to date and dynamic tally.
A Wisconsin Supreme Court election that offered the public its first formal opportunity to weigh in on the national fight over union rights was very close in the early Tuesday.
Initial returns showed incumbent Justice David Prosser locked in a virtual dead heat with challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. An assistant state attorney general, Kloppenburg began her campaign with almost no name recognition and faced what looked like an uphill fight against Prosser.
But her campaign has surged in recent days as her supporters worked to focus anger over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive collective bargaining law onto the conservative-leaning Prosser. The law’s opponents hope a Kloppenburg victory will tilt the Supreme Court to the left and set the stage for the court to strike down the law. Election officials in Madison and Milwaukee have noted higher voter interest in what would have been an otherwise sleepy contest.
The measure strips most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Walker has said the move is needed to help balance the state’s budget. Democrats say it’s designed to cripple unions, which are among their strongest campaign supporters, and tens of thousands of people spent weeks at the state Capitol protesting the plan.
The law eventually passed, but is on hold as legal challenges make their way through the courts. Many expect the state Supreme Court ultimately will decide the issue.
The seven-member high court is officially nonpartisan. But Prosser, who is seeking a second 10-year term, is seen as part of a conservative four-justice majority. Kloppenburg’s allies have presented her as an alternative that would tilt the court’s ideological balance to the left.
Prosser has told The Associated Press he doesn’t necessarily agree with the law. Still, bitter Democrats have portrayed him as a Walker clone, helping Kloppenburg’s campaign gain traction over the last few weeks.
Pat Heiser, 76, said the union struggles weighed heavily on her decision to vote for Kloppenburg.
“I think collective bargaining should be a human right,” Heiser said. “We’re not slaves anymore; that ended in the 1860s.”
Prosser’s campaign: http://www.justiceprosser.com
Kloppenburg’s campaign: http://www.kloppenburgforjustice.com
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Race (volokh.com)
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Draws National Attention (blogs.wsj.com)
- Should Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Still be Elected? (socyberty.com)
- Union rights fight looms in Wis. high court race (sfgate.com)
- Important Wisconsin Election today! State Supreme Court Race! (iflizwerequeen.com)
- Well-Being Of Labor At Stake In Wisconsin Supreme Court Race (alan.com)
- Union rights fight looms in Wis. high court race (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- David Prosser and the Supremes (538refugees.wordpress.com)