Who’s on the Wisconsin 2010 ballot?

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board has released a list of registered candidates for the fall 2010 election. It’s curious to see who’s on the list as a viable candidate, and who’s not. (This post will be sporadically updated over the weekend to add races not yet listed.)

The big race

Despite the thankless nature of the job, a lot of people would like to become the next governor of Wisconsin. There were a total of 28 people who submitted paperwork to run for that office, though just seven made the ballot. In addition to the big three, there are: Tim John of Oconomowoc (D), Scott Paterick of Wisconsin Rapids (R), Jim Langer of Germantown (I), and James James of Spring Green (Common Sense party).

Next in line

The bidders for Lieutenant Governor were numerous as well, with 13 people filing to run.

Dems: Spencer Coggs of Milwaukee, Tom Nelson of Kaukauna, Henry Sanders of Waunakee, and James Schneider of Oregon. My Alderman Tony Zeilinski dropped out of the race several months ago.

Repubs: Brett Davis of Oregon, Rebecca Kleefisch of Oconomowoc, Robert Lorge of Bear Creek, Dave Ross of Superior, Nick Voegeli of Sun Prairie (Nick: my stepfather Bob Kennedy is your neighbor).

Libertarian: Terry Virgil of Johnson Creek.

Greens off the ballot?

As I posted about earlier, the Wisconsin Greens did not succeed in getting Pete Karas in the election as a candidate for Secretary of State. (Perhaps they could get some advice from Todd Kolosso?) Despite this, Ben Manski is running as a Green for outgoing Rep. Spencer Black’s seat, and will face whoever wins the crowded Democratic primary. Republican David Redick and Constitution Party candidate David Olson are also on the ballot.

Secretary of State

The longtime incumbent Doug La Follette (D) has a primary with Jeremy Ryan of Madison. The winner will meet David King (R) of Milwaukee in the general. There will not be a Wisconsin Green Party candidate in that race.


No surprises here: Incumbent J. B. Van Hollen (R) and Scott Hassett (D).

State Treasurer

Seven people wanted this job, and five gathered the signatures. Dems: Dan Bohrod of Madison, Dawn Marie Sass (inc.) of Belleville. Repub: Scott Feldt of Janesville, Jim Sanfillipo of Milwaukee, and Kurt Schuller of Eden.

U.S. Senate

Sen. Russ Feingold (D) is up for reelection, and he faces an interesting crowd. Republicans Steven Finn of Milwaukee, along with Ron Johnson, and Dave Westlake are all in the primary. Rob Taylor of Cumberland is running on the Constitution Party ticket. Four other possible candidates did not turn in signatures.

1st congressional district

Incumbent GOP darling Paul Ryan will meet a Libertarian (Joseph Kexel) and an Independent (Bill Tucker), though I’m not sure about the Democratic Party candidate. John Heckenlively filed just 933 signatures, while the state requires candidates for congressional offices must file a minimum of 1,000 valid signatures. So then, I think he’s out.

2nd congressional district

Incumbent Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) faces a Libertarian (Tim Nerenz of Merrimac) and the winner of the Republican primary—either Chad Lee of Mt. Horeb, or Peter Theron of Madison. [Correction: I misread the ballot list. Tim Nerenz will not be on the ballot, as he did not turn in any signatures. It’ll be Tammy against a Republican. (Thanks for pointing that out, Alex.)]

3rd congressional district

Ron Kind will watch a Republican primary between Bruce Evers of Holmen and Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse. Michael Krsiean of Houlton is also running on the verbose Independent Citizen for Constitutional Government ticket. I know the son of some people from Holmen, and I will extract whatever useful intel I get get him to give me by way of his parents. [That seems to deserve a gratuitous evil laugh, somehow.]

4th congressional district

Here in Milwaukee, Rep. Gwen Moore is on the ballot, having garnered the full 2,000 signatures that she can get for her seat, double the required number. Two challengers to Rep. Moore will not be on the ballot, the agitated Republican Jennifer London and independent candidate Samantha Carter. Moore will face Paul Morel in the Democratic primary, as will Kenneth Lipinski and Dan Sebring in the Republican primary. Eddie Ahmad Ayyash of the Coalition On Government Reform party faces no primary challenger, and automatically advances to the general.

5th congressional district

Line the lambs up… right? Well, we’ll see. The longtime incumbent Jim Sensenbrenner—whose been in office since 1979—may well trounce Todd Kolosso (D) and Robert Raymond (I). The would-be Republican challenger did not file signatures with the GAB.

6th congressional district

This one’s easy to explain (if you read the sheet right): incumbent Tom Petri (R-Fond Du Lac) and Joseph Kallas (D-Princeton).

7th congressional district

Seven people began, seeking to replace Dave Obey, and five remain. Julie Lassa of Stevens Point will see Don Raihala of Superior in the primary. Then it’s on either Sean Duffy of Ashland or Dan Mielke of Rudolph, both Republicans. Gary Kauther is also running on the Independent No War Bailout ticket.

8th congressional district

Rep. Steve Kagen has his hands full. Four other people are on the ballot. All Republicans—none are John Gard! They are Terri McCormick of Appleton, Reid Ribble of De Pere, Roger Roth of Appleton, and Marc Savard of Liberty Grove.

Milwaukee’s state Assembly races

Things vary from open seats to unchallenged incumbents to primary-only race and straight-up fall elections.

Rep. Chris Sinicki, who represents me in the Assembly, will face either Steve Kraeger or Molly McGartland after one emerges from the Republican primary. I think that primary will be a race to the right. Kraeger is a former opponent of mine in the 2008 county board race who billed himself as “Scott Walker’s backup.” He lost the race to Chris Larson, who’s now challenging Jeff Plale. Kraeger is in Milwaukee, while McGartland is in St. Francis. Judging by her web site, you’d think Milwaukee doesn’t even exist.

Rep. Josh Zepnick (9th dist.) is running unopposed. Surprising, in a way. But if no one to the left of him, or to the right wants to run, so be it..

• As Rep. Annette Polly Williams (10th dist.) is not running for reelection, her seat (1oth district) will be open. Elizabeth M. Coggs, Stephanie Findley, and Sherman L. Hill are all running as Democratic candidates, and will have a primary. Ieshuh Griffin is running as an independent.

• Incumbent Rep. Jason M. Fields is unopposed in the 11th Assembly district. Rep. Tamara Grigsby also is unopposed in the 18th.

• In the 12th district, longtime Rep. Fred Kessler, a Democrat, will face Republican challenger Sam Hagedorn in the general. Similarly, in the 19th district, Rep. Jon Richards will do the electoral run-walk with his Republican challenger Krista Burns.

• The Milwaukee-Tosa area has the 13th Dist., in which Democratic Rep. David Cullen has two opponents just one opponent in the general. Paris Procopis was eliminated from the Republican ticket for not gathering enough signatures, leaving Lisa Decker as Rep. Cullen’s sole challenger on the Constitution Party ticket.

• The 16th Dist. on the near west side will see incumbent Rep. Leon Young face James Deiter in the primary. There are no other challengers, thus the winner really wins it. Ditto for northwest side Rep. Barbara L Toles and challenger Mike Erdmann in the 17th d. And to the west, a big Republican brawl is shaping up in the 14th district, which includes Brookfield, Elm Grove, and chunks of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. There we have David Coon, Dennis Kaun, Dale Kooyenga, Chris Maurer, Michael Olen, and Ryan Shulander all vying to win the primary. As in the other two races, the lucky winner wins the seat.

• Over in Stallis, which has the  15th district, Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-Stallis) faces two Republicans, David Nickel and Ronald Rieboldt, both of Stallis.

State senate races

1st senate district: The Appleton Post-Crescent summed it up well when they reported that “Alan Lasee, a cowboy-hat wearing Republican who unsuccessfully fought to bring back capital punishment in Wisconsin said [in January 2010] he was retiring after 36 years in the Wisconsin Legislature.” Vying to replace him are Democratic candidate Monk Elmer of Appleton, and three Republican candidates: Dave Hutchinson of Luxemburg, Frank Lasse of De Pere, and Jon Soyring of Green Bay. Wait a second, Frank Lasse? Yup, he’s Alan Lasse’s third-cousin. The name recognition just might help him.

Senator Robert Cowles, 2nd district
Sen. Robert Cowles (2nd District) exists!

2nd senate district: There is no 2nd district! Or at least not an election in it this year. Sen. Robert L. Cowles has served as a State Legislator since 1983.

3rd senate district: Sen. Tim Carpenter on Milwaukee’s southwest side has two challengers, Republican Annette M. Krznarich, and Libertarian Jeffrey Clauer. Might the Republican and Libertarian candidates pull enough votes from each other to give Carpenter a win? We’ll have to see.

5th senate district: Sen. Jim Sullivan (D) and Leah Vukmir (R). Don’t think that one will go well from Jim, but we’ll see.

7th senate district: Milwaukee County Sup. Chris Larson is challenging the incumbent Sen. Jeff Plale in the September primary. The winner will face Jess Ripp, who’s one of those rare East Side Milwaukee Republicans—which becomes not too unusual when you consider he’s in one of those new condo towers.

(In the 2008 county race that had me in the primary, Larson beat Steve Kraeger, who’s now running for the state assembly against Rep. Sinicki. I believe that was his second or third electoral defeat. (The thing about perpetual candidates is, they’re perpetual candidates. Or so says the School of Political Tautology.)

8th senate district:Alberta Darling isn’t up for reelection this year, but it seems like someone should be running against her on general principle.

9th and 11th senate districts: Both have D/R contests. In the 9th, it’s two Sheboyganites, Jason Borden (D), and Jim Leibham (R). And in the 11th, two Elkhorn-ites (?) face off. It’s incumbent Sen. Neal Kedzie (R) and L. D. Rockwell (D).

13th senate district: Incumbent Sen. Scott Fitzgerald gets (R-Juneau) after his name in the paper. As he’s an incumbent in this anti-incumbent year, he’s got challengers. There’s Dwayne Block (D) of Oconomowoc, whom I know is a fine guy. I haven’t met Vittorio Spadaro of Lomira, who is running as an Independent. Nor do I know Thomas Porten of Horicon, the Libertarian candidate who will did not turn in signatures, and thus will not be on the ballot.

15th senate district: Sen. Judith Biros Robson of Beloit, better known as Judy Robson, is not running for reelection. Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville and Republican Rick Richard of Janesville hope to replace her. Don’t know how the district is at this point to make any predictions.

17th senate district: Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) is seeking reelection, and will face Carol Beals (D-Platteville). She does not have a primary, as the other Dem candidate dropped out at some point.

19th senate district: Unless a celebrity write-in candidate appears, Sen. Michael Ellis (R-Neenah) will cruise to victory, as he is unopposed.

21st senate district: Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) will face the winner of the Republican primary: either Bob Gulan of Union Grove, or Van H. Wanggaard of Racine. We’ll see how the primary either toughens or drains the eventual winner.

23rd and 25th senate districts: Sen. Pat Kreitlow (D-Chippewa Falls) will try to beat Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls. He’d get an (R) after his name, by the way. In the 25th, incumbent Robert Jauch (D-Poplar) and Dane Deutsch, a Republican candidate from Rice Lake. See ya all in November.

27th senate district: The south-central district will have an exciting race. Sen. Jon Erpenbach will meet the winner of the Republican primary, who will be either Tom Lamberson of Verona, Kurt Schlicht of Cross Plains, Tony Wickersham of Evansville, or Jonathan Haust of Madison. Here again, the Libertarian candidate did not file signatures, and thus is out of the race.

(Just a few more now, I promise.)

29th senate district: Swinging up north, Sen. Russ Decker will meet one of two Republicans, Jimmy Boy Edming of Glen Flora, or Pam Galloway of Wausau.

31st senate district: The fighting thirty-firest! Ed Thompson, brother of longtime Gov. Tommy Thompson, has reappeared as a Republican state senate candidate. He’ll face Democratic candidate Kathleen Vinehout in the race for the 31st senate district seat.

33rd senate district: Republican Sen. Ted Kanavas isn’t running again, so two Republicans have stepped up to run for his seat. Tim Dietrich of Sussex and Rich Zipperer of Pewaukee will square off in the primary, and the winner wins the seat. No other candidates are on the ballot.

•   •   •

How’ll it all shape up in the end? As I’m fond of saying, we’ll see. Some of the races aren’t on here, which is not a comment on whether or not they’re interesting as much as there’s a lot of stuff to type in. But for democracy geeks, it’s worth doing. So I guess I’m saying I’ll finish it off tomorrow Saturday RSN.

(Save for some Assembly races, it’s done! Or as  close as I’ll get without my eyes falling out. I’ve got ideas for how to do it better next time. Thanks for reading and commenting!)


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

16 thoughts on “Who’s on the Wisconsin 2010 ballot?”

    1. You’re quite welcome, Sam. I hope you have a good race. The “run-walk” refers a bit more to the east side/Bay View Burns-Richards race. A lot of walking is involved between those neighborhoods. 😉

      1. It’s doing better. I’ve got a whole mess of herbs almost ready, and I’m starting to get some cucumbers as well. Still no tomatoes or peppers, but the radishes also seem to be doing well.

  1. Tim Nerenz didn’t actually file papers in the 2nd district.

    Also, I wonder how it works if the Libertarian Lt. Governor qualifies for the ballot but the Governor nominee doesn’t? It looks like that’s what may happen. Normally gubernatorial candidates on tickets after the primary, but if no one qualifies for the top of the ticket, what then? Independent candidates for Governor just run by themselves, and that’s why there are no independent candidates for Lt. Gov.

    That actually raises another interesting point–what if a well-known independent, say Bob Ziegelbauer, were to run for governor as an independent and actually win? How would the Lt. Gov slot be filled?

    Anyway, the Republicans are trying to get Tammy Baldwin off the primary ballot because she allegedly didn’t have a residence in the state of Wisconsin at the time of filing her papers. I don’t see the GAB taking her off the ballot, but hypothetically, if they did, then Democrats would need 10,116 write-in votes in the primary to get her (or any nominee at all) on the ballot in November. It would theoretically be doable, though–64,382 people voted in the Democratic AG primary in 2006, and 18,414 people even came out to vote in the fall primary in 2008, when most people in the district didn’t even have any contested Dem primary races, except in the 47th, 80th, and 81st assembly districts. And it’s not like she’s some no-name that would need a big campaign just to make sure people knew who she was. What a nightmare for the vote-counters, though.

    1. Alex, the governor and lt. governor races are run independently of each other, so in theory it would be possible to elect a Democratic governor and a lt. governor from another party…..at least I think.

  2. The 64,382 and 18,414 numbers are referring to the 2nd congressional district alone, just in case that wasn’t clear.

    1. Got it, Alex, thank you very much for your insights. It’s always curious to see what attempts are made to change the ballot. At least they’re not trying to wipe the voter lists. (…right?)

  3. “This one’s easy to explain” Apparently not. You might want to double check party affiliation on the 6th CD.

  4. Hi Jason,

    Congratulations on the birth of your son. I haven’t met your stepfather though I’d be pleased to. Keep me in mind on 14 September.


    Nick Voegeli

  5. Todd Kolosso For Congress in 2010.


    While some people may celebrate right-wing extremists taking over the Republican Party, Todd Kolosso is doing something about it. He is running for US Congress, against 30 year right-wing incumbent Jim Sensenbrenner, in Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District.

    Now he is on the ballot!

    A Google search on “Todd Kolosso” will quickly bring you to his web site where you can examine his moderate and sensible political ideas. We are recruiting and gathering volunteers every day.

    Ten years ago, under President Clinton, we had a balanced Federal budget. Our 30 year incumbent’s contribution was to stab Bill Clinton in the back over a sexual affair. What a waste!

    Now we are mired in two wars. War is serious business. It means thousands of people coming home in coffins or living out their lives in wheelchairs. It means massively expanding the government’s spending. Our 30 year incumbent’s contribution was to vote for the wars and to give himself a tax cut. FDR did not order young men onto Omaha Beach or Iwo Jima while pandering to the home folks with tax cuts. What a stab in the back for our soldiers and devastation to our economy. Even John McCain knew better.

    Competency and character. These things matter.

    Todd Kolosso for Congress in 2010. We have an sensible alternative for moderate Democrats, Republicans and Independents and we mean to win.

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