[Vision2020] 1-16-18: Democrats Score Special Election Upset In Wisconsin GOP Stronghold

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Jan 17 19:24:35 PST 2018

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

01/16/2018 10:56 pm ET *Updated* 8 hours ago
Democrats Score Special Election Upset In Wisconsin GOP StrongholdDonald
Trump won the 10th Senate District in Wisconsin handily in 2016

By Amanda Terkel
Democrat Patty Schachtner won a special election for a state Senate seat in
Wisconsin on Tuesday, scoring a huge upset victory for her party in a
district that President Donald Trump
<https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/donald-trump> handily captured just
over a year ago.

It was the latest in a string of election victories for Democrats
<https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/democratic-party> since Trump took
office, and a sign of hope for the party that the energy from the base and
frustration with the president could lead to more wins in November.

Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County, won by 11
percentage points

Republican Sheila Harsdorf had held the seat since 2001
but she left in November to become Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s
agriculture secretary. In 2016, Harsdorf won re-election by 26 percentage
<https://www.wpr.org/democrat-wins-10th-state-senate-special-election>, and
Trump beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton
<https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/hillary-clinton> by 17 points.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
<https://www.huffingtonpost.com/topic/mitt-romney> won the district in

“This campaign was about investing in people and revitalizing our area,
whether that is making sure that every Wisconsinite has access to
affordable health care, funding our public schools, technical colleges and
UW campuses, or investing in good-paying jobs right here in Western
Wisconsin,” Schachtner said in a statement
<https://twitter.com/jessieopie/status/953473656683888641>. “Tonight,
voters showed that they share those priorities, and I am deeply grateful
for their support.”

Attorney Adam Jarchow, Schachtner’s GOP opponent, conceded the race Tuesday

Republicans clearly sensed that this district was vulnerable. The
conservative Americans for Prosperity spent at least $50,000 on ads
and the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform and Wisconsin Manufacturers &
Commerce threw in another $80,000.

On the Democratic side, Greater Wisconsin spent $30,000
and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee spent $10,000.

Republicans will still control the state Legislature, with an 18-14 majority
and one vacancy in the Senate.

Democrats have fared well in other special elections since Trump became
president, scoring big wins in Virginia
other places around the country. The Democratic Legislative Campaign
Committee, which works to elect Democrats to state office, said that, with
the win in Wisconsin, there are 34 districts
that have flipped from red to blue since Trump’s inauguration.

Walker is up for re-election this year, and he has built up a formidable
political machine in the state. So far, there’s a crowded field of
Democrats running to unseat him, but there’s no solid front-runner.

The governor tweeted Tuesday night, however, that Republicans needed to
acknowledge that 2018 was shaping up to be a tough year.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is also running in 2018, and her seat is a
prime target for Republicans
Conservative groups have so far spent at least $3.1 million
Baldwin, which is more than what all the other Democratic Senate incumbents
on the ballot this year have faced combined (under $550,000), according to
the Center for Responsive Politics.

*This story was updated with more details about Schachtner’s margin of
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