So the results of tonight’s partisan primary election are in, and I’ve got a few winners and losers (and they’re not necessarily all candidates).
Jonathan Brostoff: With a narrow victory in the Democratic primary in the 19th Assembly district, Brostoff is virtually assured of victory in November, with only Pirate Party candidate Joseph Klein standing between Brostoff and a seat in the Assembly that he will likely occupy for as long as he wants.
Susan Happ: Jon Richards appeared to be the candidate the Democratic establishment had coalesced around, and he was certainly the most visible of the three Democrats running for Attorney General, but despite running a bit of a “stealth campaign” in comparison to Richards, Happ prevailed. No doubt Susan Happ will be a formidable opponent to Republican Brad Schimel, and I’m confident she’ll emerge victorious in November.
Justin Moralez: Though he lost in the Republican primary in the 20th Assembly district, Moralez can hold his head high knowing he didn’t compromise his beliefs in order to pander for votes in a primary that quickly devolved into a contest to see which candidate could veer furthest to the right the fastest. While he lost tonight, Moralez likely hasn’t run his last campaign for an office higher than the one he currently holds.
Mary Burke: With her victory Burke becomes the first woman to be either party’s nominee for governor. That’s a big deal, and it’s an even bigger deal that despite a furious barrage of negative ads against her by Gov. Scott Walker and his dark money allies, Burke holds a one percent lead against Walker among likely voters. While some on the left may not be sold on Mary Burke, I believe she can beat Scott Walker in November.
Chris Abele: The two Abele-backed candidates for State Assembly, Tia Torhorst and Dan Adams, both lost in their respective primaries. Adams finished third in a four person race despite the best efforts of a dark money group’s negative mailing campaign towards the end of the race, and while Torhorst finished second in her race, she was beaten by David Bowen by a margin of 55% to 22%. There’s no way last tonight’s results in the 10th and 19th Assembly district races can be viewed as anything other than a loss for Abele, who sought to expand his Milwaukee County power base in Madison.
John Lehman: While Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke easily beat Brett Hulsey by a margin of over 60 percentage points in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Lehman beat his opponent Mary Jo Walters by a margin of just 10 percentage points. For a seasoned politician with the backing of the Democratic establishment to prevail by such a small margin against nominal opposition is surprising to me.
Dan Sebring: Though Sebring prevailed in the Republican primary in the 4th Congressional district, his prize for winning is another likely electoral drubbing at the hands of incumbent Rep. Gwen Moore. I’m betting Sebring will lose to Moore in November by a margin approaching 35%, and perhaps then he’ll get the message that voters in the 4th Congressional district simply don’t care for his far right-wing ideology.