In an earlier post, we provided information on three of the candidates for the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction post. Today, we are providing information on the other four candidates.
Note, if these candidates gather the required 2,000 signatures on nomination papers and submit them by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, they will be on the primary ballot on Feb. 16. If they fall short of the needed signatures, they will not be on the ballot
Joining Joe Fenrick, Jill Underly, and Sheila Briggs, the three candidates identified in that earlier post are:
Troy Gunderson Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams Deborah Kerr, and Steve Krull.
Fond du Lac”s Joe Fenrick gathering signatures for his nomination papers.
Three of the six candidates for the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction office being contested in the Feb. 16 primary election participated in some form at the Dec. 5, 2020 meeting of the Green Lake County Dems & Friends meeting via Zoom or in person.
Jill Underlay was one of those candidates. Learn more about her by visiting her campaign website and Facebook page. You can also follow her Twitter feed.
Also participating via Zoom was Sheila Briggs, another candidate for the state’s top educator post. Learn more about Sheila at her Briggs for Kids website.
The third candidate at our meeting Saturday was Joe Fenrick, from Fond du Lac. Joe made the trip to Green Lake for the meeting, wore a face mask, practiced social distancing and tried hard to keep warm. Fenrick, a high school science teacher, has attended our meetings in the past. He also serves on the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors. Visit Fenick’s website, and Facebook page.
Technically, this is a nonpartisan election, which means that none of the candidates on the ballot will be identified by their political party affiliations.
Because there are six announced candidates for the position, it appears there will be a primary election on Feb. 16, for those candidates who garner enough signatures on their nomination papers. Each candidate is required to have a minimum of 2,000 signatures submitted to the Wisconsin Elections Commission by 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday of January, 2021 (Jan. 5).
If you are interested in signing a nomination paper for your preferred candidate, you can download a nomination paper from the candidate’s website.
Next week we will provide information on the other announced candidates.
This is one of those behind-the-scenes things that gets lost in the shuffle when there are higher profile races going on, like there were Tuesdday. But make no mistake about it: if the GOP had gained a super majority, ion Tuesday, would have had the power to override any Evers veto of their legislative actions.
While our candidates may not have won their races this November, our members and friends did their part in letting voters know who to support. Anyone driving or walking in Green Lake, Berlin, and Princeton, for example, came across yard signs for Joe Biden/Kamala Harris, Jessica King, Joni Anderson, Nate Zimdars and Melissa Arndt. Below are some of those signs
The Republicans who easily won in Green Lake County carried their success onto their broader contests Tuesday as Glen Grothman, Joan Ballweg, Alex Dallman, and Jon Plumer easily defeated their Democrat Party challengers.
All of them won at least 60 percent of the votes cast.
Grothman, the incumbent 6th Congressional District Republican Congressman defeated Democrat Jessica King, 198,004 (60%) to 130,983 (40%).
Ballweg, the former 41st State Assembly Republican rep from Markesan, defeated Joni Anderson, 49,136 (66%) to 25,659 (34%) in the 14th State Senate race.
Dallman turned back Democrat Nate Zimdars, 14,585 (60%) to 8,380 (35%) in the district wide race for the 41st State Assembly. Independent Jesan Bartz had 1,317 (5%) of the votes cast.
In the 42nd State Assembly race, incumbent Jon Plummer turned back Democrat Melissa Arndt, 15,503 (61%) to 9,722 (39%).
Nobody said it would be easy, not even Nate Zimdars.
But heading into Tuesday’s election, Zimdars, running as a Democrat, faced an uphill battle. First, the 41st State Assembly District has long been a Republican stronghold (just ask Joan Ballweg),
Second, in the Aug. 11 primary election this year Zimdars pulled in 3,098 votes. He was unopposed. His opponent on Tuesday, Republican Alex Dallman, did slightly better in August with 3,392 votes. But Dallman was competing against three other Republicans who gained another 3,494 votes. In other words, in August there were 6,886 votes cast for Republicans.
Contrast this with Zimdars’ 3,392 votes and it is clear that the Republican vote total was roughly double that of the Democrat.
Of course, this was just a primary and primaries typically don’t produce high levels of voter turnout. In fact, since there were four candidates running on the Republican side, it could be said that the almost 7,000 Republican votes were there primarily because this was a contested primary.
But wait, let’s go back and look at the vote totals the last time there was a race in the 41st Assembly District, in 2018. In that race, Republican incumbent Joan Ballweg easily beat Democrat Frank Buress, 5,205 to 2,160 in Green Lake County. Ballweg also did well throughout the district as she topped Buress,15,257 (63%) to 8,984 (37%).
So what does all this mean? Simply put, the odds of Zimdars beating Dallman–at least based on past voting–are remote, not only in Green Lake County, but in the district as a whole. It is possible, if the Blue Wave materializes, that Zimdars will do well, but upsetting Dallman, who has worked as a staffer for 6th Congressional District Congressman Glenn Grothman, and who has served as the chair of the Green Lake Republican Party would be a stunning upset.