Author: Will Kenneally
MADISON — Northern Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District will send a Democrat to the state Capitol for the first time in nearly two decades.
St. Croix County Medical Examiner Patty Schachtner upset Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow Tuesday night in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Sheila Harsdorf who held the seat from 2000 until 2017.
The 10-point win for Schachtner is the first time voters in northern Wisconsin have gone to the ballot box in a partisan election since the 2016 presidential election. While Donald Trump won the district by a roughly 60-40 margin only 14 months ago, the district flipped to a 54-44 Democratic lean Tuesday.
Seeing Democratic ‘wave’ elections in Virginia and Alabama, Republicans in Wisconsin are starting to sound the alarm.
Gov. Scott Walker took to Twitter Tuesday night writing, “Senate District 10 special election win by a Democrat is a wake up call for Republicans in Wisconsin.”
“Genuinely stunning setback for GOP in Wisconsin,” Conservative author Charlie Sykes tweeted. “Hard to overstate the anxiety this will cause.”
Democrats made inroads in the two other legislative races as well Tuesday. In Washington County, Democrat Dennis Degenhardt improved upon Hillary Clinton’s 2016 performance by upwards of 15 percentage points in the 58th Assembly District. Degenhardt ultimately lost the election to Republican Rick Gundrum 57-43. Democrat Greta Neubauer won her Assembly race for the Racine area unopposed.
“Tonight’s results are a show of strength for Democrats,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Spokeswoman Melanie Conklin.
Both candidates for the 10th Senate District spoke of an eagerness to move forward.
“I look forward to working with Patty in Madison and continuing to deliver results for the people of Northwestern Wisconsin,” Jarchow said in a statement.
“To my opponent, Rep. Adam Jarchow, I look forward to the opportunity to work together in meeting the needs of our constituents.” Schachtner’s statement reads.
“To my supporters who voted for me, and also those who didn’t, I promise to fight every day to make sure your values and needs are represented in Madison,” Schachtner said.
The next legislative elections will be held Nov. 6, with a primary on Aug. 14.
Note: Unofficial results. See the Wisconsin Elections Commission for official results.