The Wisconsin Partisan Primary Election is less than a month away – it will take place on Tuesday August 11th, 2020 and it will decide who represents each party on the ballot in the General Election this November. Below are some key races in the primary and also general election to watch for:

Congressional Delegation

U.S. Senate

Both U.S. Senate seats do not have elections this year.   

U.S. House of Representatives

3rd Congressional District (CD)

Congressman Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) is being challenged from the left by a doctor who is relatively unknown. Kind also had $3 million in the bank from the last reporting period for campaigning, suggesting he is in a good position for his re-election efforts.

4th CD

In incumbent Congresswomen Gwen Moore’s (D-Milwaukee) district, two Republicans will square off in their primary to challenge her.

5th CD

State Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is running for retiring Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s (R-Menomonee Falls) seat. Fitzgerald does have a primary challenger and the winner will very likely win the general election as it is a heavily-leaning Republican district.

6th CD

In incumbent Congressman Glenn Grothman’s (R-Glenbeulah) district, three Democrats are running in their primary to challenge him.

State Legislative Offices

A number of Senate Districts (SD) are open, with many Senators retiring. There are a few crowded primary elections, which are generally considered safe seats in the general election for the respective party. Two examples include a five-way Republican primary for Dave Craig’s (R-Big Bend) seat and a seven-way Democratic primary for Senator Fred Risser’s (D-Madison) seat.  

A key outcome of the general election in the state will be whether or not Republicans can capture a two thirds majority in the legislature to negate Governor Evers’ veto.

There are three Senate seats that will be hotly contested and especially noteworthy. One is the 10th SD in the northwest part of the state currently held by Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset), who won the Republican-leaning district in a special election in January 2018. Thesecond is the 30th SD and is held by retiring Senator Dave Hanson (D-Green Bay). This district has been trending Republican but Senator Hanson was able to outperform the top of the ticket. The Republican running is attorney Eric Wimberger who challenged and lost to Senator Hanson four years ago. On the Democratic side, Hanson’s nephew Jonathan Hanson is running. Third, in western Wisconsin, former Senator Jennifer Shilling’s (D-La Crosse) seat will be a crucial election. Dan Kapanke, who held the seat before Schilling, is running as a Republican, and Brad Pfaff, previously interim DACTP Secretary, is running on the Democratic ticket, along with a couple of other Democrats.

There are not many seats that Democrats can gain in the Senate, but rather their focus will be on preventing Republicans from gaining two-thirds majority by picking up three seats.

In the Assembly, Republicans would also need to gain three seats to achieve a two-thirds majority. However, more seats are in play on both sides, including suburban Milwaukee districts, among other swing districts.

Sources: Capitol Notes

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Bio Link stakeholder engagement, and best practice analyses. As a member of the Business and Community Solutions team, he helps clients who are pursuing solutions that add value to their company, its employees, customers, and community, in addition to exploring opportunities for environmental sustainability. Expertise: Shared Value Business Strategy, Public Relations, Public Policy Strategy, Lobbying

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