Turnout tops 22 percent in Wisconsin Supreme Court election

Turnout tops 22 percent in Wisconsin Supreme Court election

Scott Walker is warning of a possible Democratic wave in November after the liberal candidate for state Supreme Court thumped her conservative opponent.

What was generally expected to be another close Wisconsin barnburner of an election turned into a romp, as progressive circuit county judge Rebecca Dallet easily defeated conservative circuit court judge Michael Screnock for a spot on the state's Supreme Court.

"Tonight's results show we are at risk of a #BlueWave in WI", Walker, who is up for re-election in November, tweeted. Next, they'll target me and work to undo our bold reforms.

Screnock, a Sauk County judge appointed and endorsed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, had the backing of the National Rifle Association and the Wisconsin Republican Party. Dallet was supported by labor and teacher unions, most of the state's judges and a host of current and former Democratic officeholders. Dallet-who received support from former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, former Vice President Joe Biden, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker-ran attack ads on President Donald Trump.

A spring storm that's dumping snow across central Wisconsin isn't causing any known problems in an election for a new state Supreme Court justice.

"The candidate with the most experience in our courts and standing up for the fairness of our courts won", Dallet said.

Running with a tough-on-crime message, Dallet won by almost a 12-point margin with almost all precincts reporting, over the conservative Screnock, 48, in the first statewide general election in the country this year. There are now six women on the seven member court. 'I think people are exhausted of what's been going on in our state in terms of the money coming in to buy these elections and people spoke out tonight'. Her win also comes after a surprise Democratic victory in a special state Senate election that had been under Republican control for 17 years and that Trump carried.

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The race has become a partisan slugfest, with national Democrats spending money and giving endorsements in an effort to win the seat over the GOP-backed Screnock.

Holder, who sued to force Walker to call the two upcoming legislative special elections, said the Dallet win was really about Walker.

Dallet, 48, has been a Milwaukee County circuit judge since 2008 and previously worked 11 years as a prosecutor.

"People are pretty motivated on the left, from what I can see", said Doug Clawson, 58, a communications professional who cast his ballot at a Madison public library as cold rain fell outside.

He hoped that Dallet's win "would send a message that we're not kidding around here and maybe to borrow an axiom from the right: We're going to take our country back".

While the state's Supreme Court seats are non-partisan, candidates have long found ways to send hints about their political leanings, but this year's race was overtly partisan.

As a private attorney, Screnock defended Walker's collective bargaining law and the Republican-drawn redistricting plan that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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