By GILLIAN POMPLUN
& CHARLEY PREUSSER
CRAWFORD COUNTY - It was a good night for some Republicans and some Democrats in Southwest Wisconsin.
Incumbent Republican State Representative Loren Oldenburg was elected to his second term by a wide margin over Democratic newcomer Josefine Jaynes.
Jaynes, a 19-year-old recent Kickapoo High School graduate, put up a good fight in Crawford County where she lost to Oldenburg. by a vote of 4,512 to her 4,008. She had a better finish in Crawford County than either Joe Biden or Brad Pfaff running for state senate–more on that later.
Jaynes was obviously disappointed with the results, but did not fault the effort she and her team put into it.
“We did our best,” Jaynes said on election night. “We worked as hard as we could–some hurdles are just impossible to overcome.”
Jaynes congratulated Loren Oldenburg on his victory and vowed to run again someday.
“I’ve got a lot of fight left in me,” Jaynes said.
The woman from rural Readstown is hoping a new legislature will do the right thing, when it comes to redistricting and drawing new maps. Jaynes favors a plan that would create a non-partisan committee to draw the maps in the future.
Loren Oldenburg said he appreciated the call from Jaynes congratulating him.
The retired dairy farmer acknowledged that the campaign and election held in the middle of a pandemic had been strange.
“It’s not a normal year,” Oldenburg said. “There’s no events to attend. It’s just strange.”
As for his re-election Tuesday night, Oldenburg was heartened by the fact that he won Vernon County this time, which he lost in 2018 by 350 votes. He noted that although he lost in Viroqua by 465 votes in this election it was 250 votes better than he did in the last election.
“Now, we have to go on,” Oldenburg said. “We need to get the businesses back up and working.”
The state representative said a relief package for small businesses might be in order to get them over the hump.
Another issue that Oldenburg is ready to address is water quality and he is awaiting the results of the DAWS well-testing study to see what it shows.
Democrat Brad Pfaff seemed poised to win election as the next Wisconsin State Senator from the 32ndDistrict replacing Jennifer Shilling who decided to change careers earlier this year.
Pfaff led Republican Dan Kapanke 48,502 to 47,767 with all but four polling places in Monroe County and two in Vernon County reported.Kapanke defeated Pfaff in Crawford County 4,620 to 3,953.
A total of 7,924 county voters weighed in on the Fair Maps resolution that appeared on the ballot. The question was whether they supported the drawing of maps for electoral districts in a non-gerrymandered fashion through a nonpartisan process.
Of the 7,924 voters who voted “yes” to support the referendum, or “no” to oppose it, 5,544 voted “yes” (70 percent), and 2,380 voted “no” (30 percent).
President Donald Trump defeated Democratic challenger Joe Biden 4,620 to 3,953 in Crawford County.
Biden defeated Trump in Clayton Township 279-256 and Utica Township 196-163. Biden also defeated Trump in Mt. Sterling, Bell Center and Ward 2 of Desoto.
Trump won in Gays Mills 144-125 and Soldiers Grove 153-132. Both villages have trended Democrat in most recent elections.
The leader of the swing vote, U.S Representative Ron Kind, did it again in Crawford County. Kind the Democratic Congressman from Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District handily defeated Republican challenger Derrick Van Orden 4,551 to 4,055-meaning about 600 Trump voters in Crawford County also voted for Kind. Perhaps that might be 600 Kind voters voted for Trump. Either way it’s a heck of a swing vote in these partisan times.
LaCrosse County was one of 13 counties to favor Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving her 51.6 percent to 42 percent for Republican Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, LaCrosse County voters favored Joe Biden over Trump, 30,535 or 57 percent to 22,184 or 41 percent, according to the LaCrosse Tribune. Four of 55 precincts had not reported at midnight.Nationally, the presidential election was still up for grabs with many states, including Wisconsin, still counting the massive absentee voting that occurred due to the pandemic.