Janet Protasiewicz won a smashing 11-point victory Tuesday night, winning a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and creating a new liberal majority in the process. Protasiewicz defeated conservative Daniel Kelly 55.5% to 44.5% in a race that set spending records and turned out nearly two million voters statewide. As part of our “Here & Now” 2023 election coverage, senior political reporter Zac Schultz was at the Protasiewicz party on election night and has this story.
Well Wisconsin, guess what? We did it. We did it.
The stakes of Tuesday’s race for a seat in the Wisconsin Supreme Court could not have been more clear. The winner would determine the ideological balance of the court in a record $45 million in campaign spending, made sure everyone in the state knew issues like abortion and redistricting were hanging in the balance.
First, it means that Wisconsin voters have made their voices heard. They’ve chosen to reject partisan extremism in this state.
Janet Protasiewicz spent most of the campaign talking about her values, making it clear to voters how she felt about issues like abortion, even if she declared that that would have no impact on how she might rule on the challenge to the state’s 1849 abortion ban.
Our state is taking a step forward to a better and brighter future, where our rights and freedoms will be protected.
This was the second blow-out loss for conservative Daniel Kelly. Appointed to the court in 2016, he blamed his loss in 2020 on turn-out for the Democratic presidential primary held on the same day. This time, he had no one else to blame. He spent the latter part of the campaign calling Protasiewicz a serial liar. He repeated those claims Tuesday night and did not attempt to look gracious in defeat, even refusing to make the customary phone call conceding to his opponent.
I wish that in a circumstance like this I would be able to concede to a worthy opponent. But I do not have a worthy opponent to which I can concede.
And I will be a part of the solution to make our Supreme Court, along with my soon-to-be new colleagues.
Meanwhile, Protasiewicz could barely finish her victory speech as she was welcomed into the new majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Link to original article: https://pbswisconsin.org/news-item/2023-wisconsin-supreme-court-race-results-in-a-new-majority/