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Legislative Update Sept. 15, 2010

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on September 16, 2010

With the September 14th Primary Election Over, Wisconsin Looks toward November 2 General Election

This week’s primary election results were not unexpected, with Democrat Tom Barrett emerging from a lightweight primary as the Democratic candidate, and with Scott Walker winning a hotly contested primary race on the Republican side.  The two will duke it out between now and November 2, when voters in Wisconsin cast their ballots to decide who will be the state’s next Governor, to serve a four year term commencing in January of 2011.

The most crowded primary election this year was for the post of Lieutenant Governor.   Of the four Democrats vying for the seat, Tom Nelson, a Democratic legislator from Kaukana, came out on top, defeating AFSCME-endorsed State Senator Spencer Coggs, who will remain in the State Senate..  He’ll face Rebecca Kleefisch of Oconomowoc, who beat four other Republicans.

The open 7th Congressional District seat in northern Wisconsin, being vacated by the legendary Dave Obey, also will be decided by voters November 2.  Democrat Julie Lassa won a decisive primary victory September 14 and faces Ashland Republican Sean Duffy.  If current state Senator Julie Lassa wins that race, there will have to be a special election sometime early in 2011 for her state Senate seat.

In the state legislative world, there were numerous primary races, especially in the state Assembly, with some 20 seats open due to legislators either retiring or seeking other opportunities.  Of all the contested Assembly races, the incumbents won.  The only contest seat in which an incumbent lost was in Senate District 7, where incumbent Jeff Plale of South Milwaukee, lost to Democratic challenger Chris Larson.  Plale had served in the state Senate since 1996.  Chris Larson currently serves on the Milwaukee County Board.

The General Election is now less than seven weeks away.  For information about the elections and the AFSCME –endorsed candidates, go to or to your Council’s respective website

All the candidates for state or federal office on the November 2 ballot will be inaugurated in early January.  In Wisconsin, the next legislature will be expected to get up to speed on issues quickly because by mid-February they will be knee-deep in the state budget deliberations.

For more information, contact the AFSCME area office at 608-836-6666.


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