Republicans, Democrats Split Wins in Special Elections

Both Republicans and Democrats scored a victory in today’s special elections to fill two vacant seats in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The two races – in the 42nd Assembly District in south central Wisconsin and the 1st Senate District in northeast Wisconisn — were being closely watched, both in Wisconsin and across the country, as political observers believed the outcome could be a indicator of how voters are feeling heading into the November elections.

1st Senate District Race

Democrats scored a victory in the 1st Senate District, picking up a seat that has been in Republican hands since 1977. Political newcomer Caleb Frostman defeated current State Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), capturing just over 51% of the vote. Frostman is the former executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation and a former WEDA member.

The senate seat, which includes Door and Kewaunee Counties and parts Brown, Calumet, Manitowoc and Outagamie counties, was vacated in January when former Republican Sen. Frank Lasee took a job in the Walker Administration.

Frostman’s victory shrinks the GOP majority in the state Senate, as Republicans now hold an 18-15 majority. Frostman and Jacque will face-off again in the November general election.

42nd Assembly District Race

Republicans retained the 42nd Assembly District seat in today’s election, as Republican Jon Plumer defeated Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd. The two will face a rematch in the November general election.

The seat, which includes portions of Columbia, Dane, Dodge and Fond du Lac counties, was vacated when former GOP Rep. Keith Ripp accepted a position at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

With the Plumer victory, the GOP once again holds a 64-35 majority in the Assembly.