Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd conceded defeat in a race for the open seat 42nd District state Assembly seat, which will stay in Republican hands with Jon Plumer.
Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s special election showed Plumer won the seat with 5,713 votes to Lloyd’s 4,834 votes. The district includes much of Columbia County, parts of Dodge, Green Lake, Marquette and Dane counties.
The win puts Republicans’ Assembly majority at 64-35. The Legislature isn’t expected to convene again until January, however, and Plumer will have to run again in November to keep the seat.
Lloyd has already registered to run again, setting up a potential rematch.
Democrat Caleb Frostman won an open seat in northeastern Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District.
Frostman defeated Republican state Rep. Andre Jacque in Tuesday’s election. The win doesn’t give Democrats control of the Senate. The GOP still holds an 18-15 advantage. But it marks another in a string of Democratic victories this year.
Democrats flipped an open state Senate seat in northwestern Wisconsin in January and liberal-backed Rebecca Dallet won a statewide race for state Supreme Court in April.
Frostman will have to run again in November to keep the seat. Jacque and Republican Bill Nauta have registered to run in the fall.
Voters casting ballots in the 42nd said they are tired of all the mudslinging in the campaign, but they’re divided on what the outcome may mean for the fall.
“We can sit here and make all the predictions you want. I think it’s a lot of hoopla,” said Mike Busser, 51, a business owner in Lodi who voted for Plumer.
Barb Lord, a 77-year-old Lloyd voter from Lodi, said she wouldn’t vote for a Republican “if my life depended on it.” She said she hoped a Lloyd win would send a signal for the fall that “Democrats are coming in.”
Another Lloyd voter from Lodi, 79-year-old Ardell Christianson, said that no matter who wins, it will be an accurate picture of which party has momentum for the fall. She said she thinks Walker delayed calling the election “because Republicans are afraid.”
Voters on both sides decried how nasty the campaign had become. Lodi’s Earl Bilkey, 77, said he’s a Democrat but that he voted for the Republican Plumer because he thought Plumer could get more done than Lloyd. But Bilkey was also conflicted.
“I don’t know how I can vote for the person I like given all the mud he’s slung,” Bilkey said.
Busser, a lifelong Republican who named his dog Reagan, said he doesn’t talk politics with his friends and wishes the two parties weren’t so divided.
“It’s too polarized,” he said.