Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2012

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Wisconsin State Senate elections, 2012

Majority controlCampaign contributions
QualificationsTerm limitsImpact of Redistricting

State Legislative Election Results

List of candidates
District 2District 4District 6District 8District 10District 12District 14District 16District 18District 20District 22District 24District 26District 28District 30District 32
Wisconsin State Senate2012 Wisconsin House Elections
Elections for the office of Wisconsin State Senate were held in Wisconsin on November 6, 2012. A total of 16 seats were up for election.

The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 1, 2012. The primary Election Day was August 14, 2012.

See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2012 and State legislative elections, 2012

Incumbents retiring

Name Party Current office
Jim Holperin Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 12
Spencer Coggs Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 6

Majority control

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Heading into the November 6 election, the Democratic Party held the majority in the Wisconsin State Senate. The party took control of the chamber after the successful recall of Van Wanggaard on June 5, 2012:

Wisconsin State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 17 15
     Republican Party 15 18
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 33 33


Game-changers

See also: Ballotpedia:"Game-changers" in the 2012 state legislative elections

Wisconsin State Senate: In total, 16 of 33 seats were up for election in November. Going into the election, Democrats held a slim 17-15 margin (with one vacancy), meaning that any Democratic seat changing hands would have flipped the chamber to Republicans.

Wisconsin House of Representatives: Heading into the election, Republicans held a 58-39 advantage, with one vacancy and one Independent in the 99 seat chamber. While it was not as close as the Senate, a total of 18 Representatives retired, leaving many open seats that both parties attempted to pick up.

Primaries

Senate

  • District 14 incumbent Luther Olsen (R) faced primary opponent David Wayne Eiler on August 14. Olsen escaped unscathed, with a 14,782-4,341 victory.

General election

Senate

  • District 12: Susan Sommer sought to keep this seat for Democrats in a conservative leaning district, as incumbent Jim Holperin did not seek re-election. She was defeated by Republican Tom Tiffany.
  • District 18: Democrats thought that freshman incumbent Jessica King (D) must keep her seat against challenger Rick Gudex if Democrats were to keep a majority in the Senate. Gudex narrowly won, and Republicans did take the chamber.[1]

House

  • District 25 was seen as one of the most competitive seats, as Independent Robert Ziegelbauer did not seek re-election. A crowded primary field with eight incumbents yielded a general election contest between Jim Brey (D) and Paul Tittl (R). Tittl won in the general election.


Campaign contributions

See also: State-by-state comparison of donations to state senate campaigns

This chart shows how many candidates ran for state senate in Wisconsin in past years and the cumulative amount of campaign contributions in state senate races, including contributions in both primary and general election contests. All figures come from Follow The Money.[2]

Year Number of candidates Total contributions
2010 41 $4,251,736
2008 42 $4,912,818
2006 52 $4,536,726
2004 55 $4,324,018
2002 51 $3,014,637

In 2010, the candidates for state senate raised a total of $4,251,736 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:[3]

Donor Amount
Public Fund $56,785
Galloway, Pamela G $45,131
Elmer, Monk $34,248
Richard, Rick $30,675
Hutchison, David E $17,699
Cmte to Elect a Republican Senate $17,226
Northwestern Mutual Life $16,000
State Senate Democratic Cmte of Wisconsin $15,767
Deutsch, Dane A $11,657
United Transportation Union $11,000

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Wisconsin

New maps were passed by the Republican-controlled legislature on July 19, 2011 and quietly signed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) on August 9, the day of six senate recall elections; the maps are expected to help them maintain majorities in both chambers, and the timing of the signing was suspect to Democrats, who accused Walker of obscuring his intentions. A federal lawsuit was filed by Democrats and later consolidated with another suit from an immigrant rights group; it sought to prevent the 2012 elections from being held with the new maps. Though the federal panel took Republicans to task for not acting transparently, it ruled that only two of 132 Assembly districts -- 8 and 9, both in Milwaukee with a Hispanic voting bloc -- could not stand.[4][5][6]

Qualifications

Section 6 of Article 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution states, "No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not have resided one year within the state, and be a qualified elector in the district which he may be chosen to represent."

Nine of the 16 senators up for election faced recall elections in 2011. Those nine senators are:

Republican Party Robert Cowles
Republican Party Alberta Darling
Republican Party Sheila Harsdorf
Democratic Party Dave Hansen
Democratic Party Jim Holperin
Republican Party Randy Hopper
Republican Party Dan Kapanke
Republican Party Luther Olsen
Democratic Party Robert Wirch

The seven senators who face re-election in 2012 but did not face a recall in 2011 are:

Democratic Party Spencer Coggs
Republican Party Glenn Grothman
Democratic Party Julie Lassa
Republican Party Mary Lazich

Democratic Party Mark Miller
Democratic Party Fred Risser
Democratic Party Lena Taylor

List of candidates

District 2

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
No candidates filed.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
  • Robert Cowles Approveda - Incumbent Cowles first assumed office in 1987.

November 6 General election candidates:

Republican Party Robert Cowles: 64,192 Green check mark transparent.png

District 4

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Lena Taylor Approveda - Incumbent Taylor first assumed office in 2004.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
  • No candidates filed.
Independent August 14 Independent primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Lena Taylor: 67,064 Green check mark transparent.png
Independent David King: 10,154

District 6

Note:Incumbent Democrat Spencer Coggs did not seek re-election.

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
  • No candidates filed.

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Nikiya Harris: 60,543 Green check mark transparent.png

District 8

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Republican Party Alberta Darling: 76,402 Green check mark transparent.png

District 10

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Daniel Olson: 35,728
Republican Party Sheila Harsdorf: 51,911 Green check mark transparent.png

District 12

Note:Incumbent Democrat Jim Holperin did not seek re-election.

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
Libertarian Party August 14 Libertarian primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Susan Sommer: 36,809
Republican Party Tom Tiffany: 51,176 Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Paul Ehlers: 2,964

District 14

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Margarete Worthington: 34,742
Republican Party Luther Olsen: 47,137 Green check mark transparent.png

District 16

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Mark Miller Approveda - Incumbent Miller first assumed office in 2004.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
  • No candidates filed.

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Mark Miller: 72,298 Green check mark transparent.png

District 18

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Jessica King Approveda - Incumbent King first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jessica King: 42,479
Republican Party Rick Gudex: 43,079 Green check mark transparent.png[7]

District 20

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Tanya Lohr: 30,504
Republican Party Glenn Grothman: 66,882 Green check mark transparent.png

District 22

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Robert Wirch Approveda - Incumbent Wirch first assumed office in 1996.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Robert Wirch: 51,177 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Pam Stevens: 22,278

District 24

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Julie Lassa Approveda - Incumbent Lassa first assumed office in 2003.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Julie Lassa: 48,677 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Scott Noble: 37,259

District 26

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Fred Risser Approveda - Incumbent Risser first assumed office in 1962.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
  • No candidates filed.

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Fred Risser: 87, 144 Green check mark transparent.png

District 28

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:
  • Mary Lazich Approveda - Incumbent Lazich first assumed office in 1998.

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jim Ward: 35,053
Republican Party Mary Lazich: 60,854 Green check mark transparent.png

District 30

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
  • Dave Hansen Approveda - Incumbent Hansen first assumed office in 2000.
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic PartyDave Hansen: 42,949 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican PartyJohn Macco: 36,178

District 32

Democratic Party August 14 Democratic primary:
Republican Party August 14 GOP primary:

November 6 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jennifer Shilling: 51,153 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Bill Feehan: 36,545

See also

External links

References