Wisconsin Democrats declared victory on Tuesday night after Milwaukee Judge Rebecca Dallet won a bitter race for a seat on the state’s Supreme Court.
Dallet’s win over Judge Michael Screnock shrunk the conservative majority on the court to one vote, after a campaign that had become the latest test of Trump-era liberal activism and political spending.
Both candidates and their supporters turned the race, which is technically nonpartisan, into a political referendum. Dallet ran early ads that accused President Trump of “attack[ing] our civil rights and our values,” while Screnock portrayed himself as a “rule of law” conservative endorsed by the National Rifle Association. By election day, more than $2.5 million had been spent on TV ads.
With 41 precincts of reporting, Dallet had 56.5 percent of the vote and Screnock had 43.5 percent.
Voters also defeated a ballot measure that would have abolished the state treasurer’s office, and which was backed by Gov. Scott Walker (R).
The margin, in particular, is impressive. At least Screnock might have a future in comedy:
“He has advocated on behalf of gerrymandering, rigging our maps in our state, which has been found to be unconstitutional,” said Dallet in a March debate with Screnock. “He has stood in front of women’s ability to access their lawful rights, and he’s been arrested twice for doing that.”
Screnock, who acknowledged his past as a protester, said Dallet was the real activist in the race and he could be an honest broker.
“Everything changed when I became a judge,” he said. “I am no longer an advocate for any party that comes in front of me. I am no longer an advocate for any issue that comes in front of me.”
He’s just a humble referee, like one in the KHL playoff games involving SKA Saint Petersburg.
Watching Scott Walker absolutely shit himself with panic over the Wisconsin Supreme Court election tonight is possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
“Optimism!!! Positive stories!!! I am a human being with REAL FEELINGS SAVE ME KOCH BROTHERS!!” pic.twitter.com/EHgk93yIbl
— Zoey Jordan Salsbury (@zoeyjsalsbury) April 4, 2018