State Watch

Dem-backed candidate wins Wisconsin Supreme Court race

Liberal Judge Rebecca Dallet, who positioned herself as a staunch opponent of President Trump, beat out her GOP-backed rival in Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court race on Tuesday, in what is seen as another bellwether for the upcoming midterm elections.

The Associated Press called the race for Dallet, who ran against conservative Judge Michael Screnock, not long after 10 p.m.

The race for the state Supreme Court seat was technically nonpartisan. Nevertheless, it had the trappings of an intense partisan brawl, with liberal and conservative groups pouring money behind their respective candidates.


Dallet’s campaign drew the support of a number of liberal groups, including the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, which pumped $165,000 into digital ads for the race, The Washington Post reported.

Dallet’s victory on Tuesday was the first for Democrats in an open Wisconsin Supreme Court race in more than two decades. 

Following her win, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) took to Twitter to warn of a coming “blue wave” in the midterm elections.

Her win will not tip the balance of the court. When she formally takes office, conservatives will still hold a 4-3 majority.

Still, the electoral victory is likely to be celebrated by Democrats as another example of voters across the country rejecting Trump and a signal that a Democratic wave could sweep the midterm elections later this year.

Martha Laning, the chairwoman of Wisconsin’s Democratic Party, touted Dallet’s win as a blow to Screnock and Walker, who appointed Screnock to the bench. 

“Tonight is a huge loss for Gov. Scott Walker, more so even than Judge Michael Screnock, as Walker’s endorsement, philosophy and politics were on the ballot,” Laning said in a statement.

Democrats are hoping to capitalize on Trump’s low approval ratings and multiple controversies to retake a majority in Congress in November. The party needs to pick up 23 seats in the House to win the majority. 

— Updated at 10:56 p.m.

Tags 2018 midterms Donald Trump Eric Holder Wisconsin Supreme Court
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