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August 11th Primary Election Preview

Federal Races

All 8 of Wisconsin’s seats in the US House of Representatives are up for election this fall, there are no US Senate seats up this cycle.
The House Primaries of note are:
1st Congressional District (Cong. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, incumbent)
Democrats Josh Pade (D-Kenosha) and Roger Polack (D-Racine) are facing off in the primary to challenge freshman Republican Congressman Bryan Steil. Pade is a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, was the 10th Democrat to enter the crowded 2018 Primary, an attorney and Kenosha businessman. Polack is a former defense analyst in the Bush and Obama administrations. The Democratic polling firm PPP has released polling on the general election match-up between Steil and Polack, suggesting that Polack is the likely general election candidate.
3rd Congressional District (Cong. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, incumbent)
Republicans Derrick Van Orden (R-Hager City) and Jessi Ebben (R-Eau Claire) are vying to be on the ballot to challenge 12-term congressman Ron Kind. Van Orden is a retired former Navy Seal, actor and business consultant. Ebben is a communications/marketing specialist for Prevea Health in Eau Claire.
5th Congressional District (Cong. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, retiring)
21 term Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner is not seeking re-election to the US House of Representatives. Long-time Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who has been endorsed by Cong. Sensenbrenner, is facing Republican and retired Coast Guard Commander Cliff DeTemple in the August 11th Primary.
6th Congressional District (Cong. Glenn Grothman, R-Campbellsport, incumbent)
Three Democrats are competing for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Republican congressman Glenn Grothman; Matthew Boor (D-Cleveland), Michael Beardsley (D-Oshkosh) and Jessica King (D-Oshkosh). With the recent turnover in the Wisconsin delegation, Grothman, if re-elected, is poised to become the senior GOP member of the House delegation. Beardsley is an IT consultant in Oshkosh, Boor is a business executive in a renewable energy development firm and King is an attorney and a former State Senator and Oshkosh City Council member.

State Senate Races

16 of Wisconsin’s 33 State Senate seats are up for re-election in 2020, the even-numbered seats.
Primaries of note are in the following seats:
6th Senate District (Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, incumbent)
State Senator LaTonya Johnson is being challenged in a Democratic Primary by Michelle Bryant (D-Milwaukee). Bryant is the Chief of Staff to State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). At the end of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session Senate Minority Leader Jen Shilling (D-La Crosse) replaced Sen. Taylor on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee with Sen. Johnson. Johnson is running for re-election for her 2nd term in the State Senate after serving two-terms in the State Assembly.
10th Senate District (Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset, incumbent)
Two Republicans are competing for the opportunity to challenge incumbent State Senator Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset. Schachtner won a Special Election to succeed Republican Sheila Harsdorf who resigned her to seat to become former Governor Scott Walker’s Agriculture Secretary. The two Republicans are; Rep. Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond) and Cherie Link (R-Somerset).  Stafsholt was first elected to the State Assembly in 2016 and re-elected since. He is a farmer and owner of multiple small businesses. Link is an active community member and Sales Manager for her family company Indian Head Glass.
14th Senate District (Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, not seeking re-election)
Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan) and Ken Van Dyke, Sr. (R-Scandinavia) are facing off in the Republican Primary to succeed retiring Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). Ballweg was first elected to the State Assembly in 2010, and has been re-elected since. Ballweg and her husband own a John Deere farming implement dealership. Van Dyke is a restaurant owner and former local elected official.
16th Senate District (Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, not seeking re-election)
Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) and Andrew McKinney (D-Cottage Grove) are competing in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona). Sargent is a former member of the Dane County Board and has served in the State Assembly since her first election in 2012. McKinney is currently president of the Monona Grove School Board, a veteran (served 6 years in the Army) and the Community Schools site coordinator for the Sun Prairie School District.
26th Senate District (Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, not seeking re-election)
8 Democrats are competing for the first opportunity since 1962 to represent this seat with the retirement of Fred Risser, the longest serving elected official in the country. Those Democrats are; Aisha Moe, Nada Elmikashfi, Amani Latimer Burris, Brian Benford, Kelda Helen Roys, William Henry Davis III and John ImesMoe is a recent UW graduate and 2018 field organizer for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Elmikashfi is a former organizer for NextGen America in the 2018 Elections and former staffer to Sen. Minority Leader Jen Shilling and Gov. Tony Evers. Burris is a small business owner. Benford is a former Madison City Council Alder and currently a success coach for the UW – Madison Odyssey Project. Roys is a former member of the State Assembly and unsuccessful candidate for Governor. Davis was a write-in candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Imes was an unsuccessful candidate for the State Assembly in 2018 and heads up the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative.
28th Senate District (Sen. David Craig, R-Big Bend, not seeking re-election)
Five Republicans are running for the opportunity to succeed Sen. David Craig (R-Big Bend) in the 26th Senate Distirct. They are; Steve Bobowski, Julian Bradley, Marina Croft, Jim Engstrand and Dan Griffin.  Bobowski’s professional experience includes being the CEO of Dale Carnegie Training of Southeast Wisconsin and UP of Michigan and working as a business executive for Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, Kimberly-Clark, Marvel Entertainment, and Riddell Sports. Bradleyis a former candidate for the State Assembly and State Treasurer and currently works at a telecommunications firm. Croftis an attorney who has worked as a staff attorney for the nonprofit International Institute of Wisconsin and as an administrative law judge. Engstrand is a retired colonel in the US Army and a small business owner. Griffin is a private practice attorney and business consultant.
30th Senate District (Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, not seeking re-election)
Two Democrats are running in the Democratic Primary; Sandra Ewald and Jonathon HansenEwald was formerly president of the north region of Aurora Healthcare, overseeing operations of hospitals and clinics in northeastern Wisconsin. Hansen is the nephew of Sen. Hansen and a member of the DePere City Council and a mortgage lender for a community bank.
32nd Senate District (Open Seat, Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, resigned her seat)
Three Democrats are running in the Democratic Primary; Brad Pfaff, Jayne Swiggum and Paul Michael Weber. Pfaffpreviously ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate in 2004. He has served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Cong. Ron Kind, Executive Director of US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency and as Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection until his confirmation was voted down by the Wisconsin State Senate. Swiggum is a nurse and patient advocate.

State Assembly Races

All 99 State Assembly seats are up for re-election in 2020.
Primaries of note are in the following seats:
8th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council)
Democrats Sylvia Ortiz-Velez and JoAnna Bautch are competing to succeed Rep. Zamarripa in representing the 8th Assembly District. Ortiz-Velez is a Milwaukee County Board Supervisor and former small business owner. Bautch is a director with Citizen Action Wisconsin and a community organizer with the Reproductive Justice Collective. Bautch is also Zamarripa’s sister.
9th Assembly District (Rep. State Rep. Marisabel Cabrera, D-Milwaukee, incumbent).
Rep. Cabrera was elected to the State Assembly in the 2018 Democratic Primary, defeating incumbent Democratic State Rep. Josh Zepnick, D-Milwaukee.  Cabrerra is an immigration rights attorney and former chair of the Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission. She is being challenged by Christian Saldivar, a recent unsuccessful candidate for the Milwaukee Common Council.
11th Assembly District (Rep. Jason Fields, D-Milwaukee, not seeking re-election)
Four Democrats are running to succeed retiring Rep. Jason Fields, D-Milwaukee. They are; Curtis Cook II, Dora Drake, Carl Gates and Tomika VukovicCook is a 23-year old small business owner. Drake is a member service coordinator at the Center for Self Sufficiency where she provides re-entry services to support those re-entering society. Gates is a small business owner in the financial services industry. Vukovic is a council woman on the Glendale City Council and board treasurer of Progressive Community Health Center.
14th Assembly District (Rep. Robyn Vining, D-Wauwatosa, incumbent)
Three Republicans are vying for the opportunity to challenge freshman Democrat Rep. Robyn Vining. Vining was the only Democrat to win a previously held Republican seat in 2018. The three Republicans are; Linda Boucher, Bonnie Lee andSteven Shevey. Boucher is a former special education teacher and small business owner who previously ran in the Republican primary for the seat in 2018. Boucher has received criticism from Republican opponents for signing the petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker in 2012. Lee is the director of outreach ministry at Northwest Baptist church and has been endorsed by Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, who formerly represented the 14th AD. Shevey is an electrician who previously ran in the 2018 General Election for the 14th AD as a Libertarian.
17th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, was elected Milwaukee County Executive)
Three Democrats are running to succeed County Executive David Crowley; Mike Brox, Supreme Moore Omokundeand Chris WaltonBrox is a retired schoolteacher and veteran. Omokunde is a Milwaukee County Board Supervisor and son of Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore. Walton is the Chair of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party and a campaign veteran, having worked on the campaigns of Governor Evers and President Barack Obama.
29th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond, is running for the State Senate).
Three Republicans are running for the opportunity to succeed Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond; Neil Kline, Clint Moses and Ryan SherleyKline is a board relations specialist with AgriBank and former staffer and campaign manager Sheila Harsdorf when she was a state senator and Agriculture Secretary. Moses is a chiropractor and school board member. Sherley owns and runs A&K construction, a commercial construction firm.
35th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, is running for the State Senate)
Two Republicans are facing off on August 11th to be the Republican candidate from the 35th Assembly District; Calvin Callahan and Don NelsonCallahan is a Lincoln County Board Supervisor and the owner of Callahan Wholesale. Nelson is the former Tomahawk City Council President and a forestry industry veteran.
41st Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, is running for the State Senate)
Four Republicans are running to succeed Rep. Ballweg as the Republican nominee for the 41st; Alex Dallman, Luke Dretske, Chuck Harsh and Gary WillDallman is a long-time staffer to Congressman Glenn Grothman, R-Campbellsport. Dretske is a senior at Ripon College and intern for US Senator Ron Johnson. Harsh is an educator and secondary principal, part-time deputy sheriff and veteran. Will is the former Mayor of Ripon, a Fond du Lac county board supervisor and manages the local Culligan Water office.
48th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, is running for the State Senate)
Four Democrats are running to succeed Rep. Sargent in representing the 48th AD, and they are; Samba Baldeh, Lindsay Lemmer, Walter Stewart and Jason VangalisBaldeh is an alder, former President of the Madison Common Council and an IT Project Manager at American Family Insurance. Lemmer is a member of the Madison Common Council and president of the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Stewart is a long-time eastside Madison resident and business owner, W.R. Stewart & Associates, a law firm. Vangalis is a business retention and expansion consultant who has worked in the private sector and at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
55th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah, not seeking re-election)
Three Republicans are running for the opportunity to succeed Rep. Mike Rohrkaste; Lauri Asbury, Rachael Cabral-Guevara and Jay SchroederAsbury is a former Leasing Director and Retention Consultant at a 1,028 unit apartment community; as a Senior Account Executive at a marketing and advertising company; as Scheduler and Executive Assistant at a public relations firm in Washington DC. Cabral-Guevara is is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and a licensed Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber. Schroeder is a rental property owner and stock investor who has previously run for this Assembly seat twice, losing in the Republican Primary to Dean Kaufert in 2012 and Mike Rohrkaste in 2014. Schroeder ran for Secretary of State in 2018, losing in the general election to Doug LaFollete.
69th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Bob Kulp, R-Stratford, not seeking re-election)
Four Republicans are competing in the Primary to succeed Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), they are; Tim Miller, Donna Rozar, Michael Smith and Matthew WindheuserMiller is a 27-year law enforcement veteran, most recently as Chief of Police of the Stratford Police Department. Rozar is medical-surgical RN in the cardiac unit at Marshfield Clinic Hospital and a Wood County supervisor. Smith operates several small businesses in the Loyal area including; Grandma’s Kitchen and Motel, Town and Country Acres Mobile Home Park, Hilltop Bar & Grill, Destiny Trucking, Destiny Farms, and Mad Hatters Pyro-Technics LLC. Prior to moving to Loyal, Smith was a municipal judge in Rock county. Windheuser is a military historian and previous unsuccessful candidate for the Wisconsin State Senate.
76th Assembly District (Open Seat, Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, not seeking re-election)
Seven Democrats are vying to succeed Rep. Chris Taylor in representing the very Democratic 76th Assembly District covering downtown Madison. Those candidates are; Dewey Bredeson, Tyrone Cratic Williams, Heather Driscoll, Francesca Hong, Ali Maresh, Marsha Rummel and Nicki Vander MeulenBredeson is a commercial real estate agent. Cratic Williams is Madison police officer. Driscoll is on the board of Shenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara neighborhood council, an unsuccessful candidate for the Dane County Boar and formerly worked at Seventhwave, a nonprofit working on energy efficiency and sustainability solutions. Hong is the co-owner of Morris Ramen Restaurant and co-founder of the Culinary Ladies Collective and Cook It Forward. Maresh is a former communications specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Rummel has served on the Madison City Council for 13 years and is an agent with the State Department of Revenue. Vander Meulen is a two-term Madison Public Schools Board member and campaigning to be the first openly autistic member of the state legislature.
90th Assembly District (Rep. Staush Gruszynski, D-Green Bay, incumbent)
Rep. Gruszynski is being challenged in the Democratic Primary by Kristina Shelton, D-Green BayGruszynski, was forced out of the Assembly Democratic caucus after he sexually harassed a Capitol staffer, and the Democratic campaign committee is supporting the campaign of Shelton. Shelton is a Green Bay School Board member and a program director at the YWCA of Greater Green Bay. Gruszynski was first elected to the State Assembly in 2018, and previously served on the Brown County board and worked at an environmental nonprofit.
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