The Aug. 12 primary election ballot will be full, with primary races in two of the three state Legislature races, all five statewide races, and one area Congressional race.
One of the most closely watched statewide races will be the 17th Senate District race to succeed retiring Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Richland Center). The Democratic primary will feature Ernie Wittwer of Hillpoint, making his first run for office, against Pat Bomhack of Dodgeville.
The primary race started with a bang last weekend when Wittwer criticized Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) for mentioning Bomhack and not Wittwer at the state Democratic Party convention in Wisconsin Dells.
“I understand that candidates should try to stay above this type of thing, but I’m also a citizen,” said Wittwer in a news release. “As a citizen, I find it to be offensive. It may not be important in Milwaukee, but the people in rural Wisconsin still believe in a representative form of government.
“Larson has crossed the line. His endorsement of a candidate in a primary election in the 17th District makes it clear that he has no respect for our form of government or the people that live in this district. His brazen disregard for appropriate political decorum shames the Democratic Party.”
Bomhack lost the 51st Assembly District Democratic primary in 2012, and initially was going to run for the 51st, but announced earlier this year he was switching to the 17th race.
Larson endorsed Bomhack in a story reported by Wisconsin Public Radio in May.
“The people of the 17th District and other rural districts have been marginalized by the Democratic power-brokers, who are only interested in big money,” said Wittwer. “The folks in this district are interested in electing someone who actually cares about them and who will try to do something to improve their lives.
“Our citizens will not let the Madison hierarchy conspire against a candidate or determine who they should vote for. They like to make that decision on their own. Democracy is still alive and well in rural Wisconsin.”
The winner will face Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green) Nov. 4.
Marklein is leaving his 51st Assembly District seat to run for Schultz’s seat. Four Republicans — Dodgeville Mayor Todd Novak, Town of Spring Green chairman Dennis Polivka, American Legion Department of Wisconsin Commander Ken “Rhino” Rynes of Richland Center, and Tyler Schultz of Monroe — are running for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat Richard Cates Jr. of Spring Green Nov. 4.
Three Republicans — Tony Kurtz of Prairie du Chien, Karen Mueller of Chippewa Falls, and Ken Van Doren of Mauston — are running for the Third Congressional District, with the winner facing U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D–La Crosse) Nov. 4.
The Democratic race for governor features Mary Burke of Madison, state Rep. Brett Hulsey (D–Madison), and Marcia Mercedes Perkins of Milwaukee. Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces an announced write-in candidate, Steve Evans of Montreal.
The Nov. 4 gubernatorial ballot will also feature Libertarian Robert Burke of Hudson and Dennis Fehr of Chippewa Falls on the Peoples Party ballot. Burke will be on the ballot with lieutenant governor candidate Joseph Brost of New Richmond.
The GOP winner will be on the ballot with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
The Democratic race for lieutenant governor will feature state Sen. John Lehman (D–Racine) and Mary Jo Walters of Madison.
The Democratic race for attorney general to succeeding retiring Republican J.B. Van Hollen includes Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Rapp, Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne, and state Rep. Jon Richards (D–Milwaukee). The winner will face Republican Waukesha County DA Brad Schiumel and Libertarian Thomas Nelson Sr. of Madison.
The race for state treasurer to succeed retiring Republican Kurt Schuller includes two Democrats, Dave Leeper of Madison and David Sartori of Cudahy, and two Republicans, Matt Adamczyk of Wauwatosa and Randall Melchert of Menomonee Falls. The winners will face Green Party candidate Ron Hardy of Oshkosh, Libertarian Jerry Shidell of Rhinelander, and Constitution Party candidate Andrew Zuehlke of Ripon.
The Republican race for secretary of state features state Rep. Garey Bies (R–Green Bay) and Julian Bradley of La Crosse. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Douglas La Follette, Libertarian Andy Craig of Milwaukee, and Constitution Party candidate Jerry Broitzman of Milwaukee.
Three Republicans — Tony Kurtz of Prairie du Chien, Karen Mueller of Chippewa Falls, and Ken Van Doren of Mauston — are running for the Third Congressional District, with the winner facing U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D–La Crosse).
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D–Madison) will be opposed by Republican Peter Theron of Madison in the Second Congressional District race.