To the surprise of almost no one, Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack and State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers both won re-election Tuesday night, but there were a number of eye-opening results on the local level.
Probably the most dramatic race was the Madison School Board contest between Dean Loumos and Wayne Strong. With all wards reporting, Loumos was ahead by fewer than 300 votes, but the Wisconsin State Journal reports that absentee ballots, which won't be counted until next week owing to a change in state law, could change the outcome.
The other two School Board races were not close at all, but the Loumos-Strong contest was notable because it was quite likely influenced by the debate over Madison Prep — a rejected charter school that would have been geared toward minority children. In a story that will post Wednesday, reporter Pat Schneider will look at the racial issues at play in the School Board races this year.
The most surprising result Tuesday night was John Strasser’s convincing defeat of south-side Ald. Tim Bruer — who has represented District 14 on the City Council for almost 30 years. Reporter Steven Elbow will take a longer look at how that happened.
Speaking of the City Council, an interesting new trend in this year’s races was the increased presence of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. One of the key battlegrounds was downtown District 2, where longtime neighborhood activist Ledell Zellers narrowly defeated Bryan Post, who was perceived to be more friendly to downtown development. Reporter Jack Craver will look at that race and the larger trend behind it.
For the full results of the City Council races, see the Dane County Clerk’s website.
Judicial races are usually sleepy — when they happen at all —because incumbents are generally really hard to beat, but for the second year in a row, a judge appointed by Gov. Scott Walker fell to a challenger who painted the appointee as a friend of the governor, who’s not so popular in Dane County. Craver will look at Rhonda Lanford’s win with 52.5 percent of the vote — bolstered significantly by margins in Madison — over Judge Rebecca St. John in a race that was notable for its intensity.