Voters in the Wisconsin Dells area headed to the polls in large numbers on Election Day Nov. 6. Here’s a look at the races affecting the area:
Democratic challenger Tony Evers declared victory in the race against incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker at about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 7. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Evers leads 1,324,648 (49.6 percent) to Walker’s 1,293,799 (48.4 percent). Walker has not conceded victory, and has alleged that numerous ballots were damaged and recreated.
Mandela Barnes, Evers running mate, will become Wisconsin’s first African-American lieutenant governor.
United States Senate
Democratic incumbent Senator Tammy Baldwin defeated Republican Leak Vukmir by about 10 points. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Baldwin leads 1,471,904 (55.4 percent) to Vukmir’s 1,183,061 (44.6 percent).
Vukmir campaigned on a platform similar to that of President Donald Trump, embracing his plan for the border wall while also pledging to help repeal the Affordable Care Act. Baldwin called herself “a proud Wisconsin progressive,” and has championed Medicare for all.
Baldwin, the nation’s first openly LGBT senator, will now serve her second term and will be up for re-election in 2024.
Incumbent Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel lost a bid for reelection against Democrat Josh Kaul, a Madison lawyer. With 100 percent of precincts reported, Kaul leads 1,310,300 (49.54 percent) to Schimel’s 1,287,627 (48.68 percent).
Kaul’s immediate plans once he takes office include withdrawing Wisconsin from a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, reducing testing times for sexual assault kits, and addressing the opiod and methamphetamine problem in the state.
United States House of Representatives
The Dells area reelected three incumbents to the United States House of Representatives.
In the 3rd Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Ron Kind defeated Republican challenger Steve Toft 58 percent to 42 percent. Kind will now serve his twelfth term in the House.
Democratic incumbent Mark Pocan ran unopposed in the 2nd Congressional District and won reelection. Pocan has served the Madison based district since 2013.
Republican incumbent Glen Grothman won reelection for his third term in the 6th Congressional District, defeating Democrat Dan Kohl 55.5 percent to 44.5 percent. Kohl is the nephew of former United States Senator Herb Kohl, and a former executive for the Milwaukee Bucks. Grothman, who had called the election the toughest race he had faced, barely underperformed his 2016 and 2014 margins of victory.
Republican Howard Marklein, the incumbent in the 17th District, fended off a challenge from Democratic farmer Kriss Marion. Marklein received 54 percent of the vote to Marion’s 46 percent. Marklein, who previously served in the state assembly, will now begin his second term in the state senate.
Democratic candidate Jon Erpenbach received 66 percent of the vote in the 27th State Senate District, defeating challenger Casey Helbach who received 34 percent of the vote. Erpenbach has been a vocal proponent of increasing funding for road repairs.
Joan Ballweg, a seven-term Republican incumbent from Markesan, won reelection for her eighth term in the 41st Assembly District. Ballweg was challenged by Democrat Frank Buress of Westfield, whom she beat 63 percent to 37 percent.
Democrat Dave Considine ran unopposed in the 81st Assembly District. Considine was originally elected to the assembly in 2014, and will now begin his third term.
In the seat vacated by the retiring Ed Brooks in the 50th State Assembly District, Republican Tony Kurtz enjoyed a 55 percent to 43 percent margin of victory over Democrat Art Shrader. Independent James Krus, who dropped out of the race and endorced Shrader, received 3 percent of the vote.
Republican challenger Brent York was elected Adams County Sheriff in the race against Democratic incumbent Sam Wollin. York received 52 percent of the vote, while Wollin received 48 percent of the vote. York, who was placed on administrative leave by Wollin in October, will take over the department that Wollin has ran for the previous eight year.
Republican Sauk County incumbent Sheriff Chip Meister defeated Democrat challenger Paul Hefty for a third consecutive time. Meister received 61 percent of the vote, while Hefty received 39 percent. The election saw a decrease in Meister’s margin of victory over his previous two wins.
Current Detective Lieutenant Roger Brandner ran unopposed for Columbia County Sheriff. Brandner was the only registered candidate after Sheriff Dennis Richards filed a notification of non-candidacy. Brandner previously ran for the office in 2006 but lost to Richards.
Wisconsin Dells High School Referendum
The Wisconsin Dells High School referendum passed by a margin of 64 percent in favor to 36 percent against. The referendum asked voters to approve $33,685,000 for the new school, with about $27 million provided through a premier resort tax raised by the City of Wisconsin Dells and the Village of Lake Delton, a $3.2 million land donation from Todd and Shari Nelson, and a cash donation from Sally Olson Bracken of $500,000.
The school will enter the construction phase in May 2019 and is expected to be available for use in late 2020. A previous high school referendum in 2014 was rejected by voters.