Area politicians lead wave of Republican success

By Jennifer Eisenbart


After being ousted in a recall election in 2012 largely over his support of Gov. Walker and Act. 10, former State Sen. Van Wanggaard is headed back to Madison.

Wanggaard garnered a clear victory Tuesday evening with nearly 62 percent of the vote. Unofficial totals saw him earn 44,923 votes to 28,087 for Democrat Randy Bryce in the 21st District, which includes most of western Racine and Kenosha counties.

Van Wanggaard

Van Wanggaard

Write-in candidate Bill Thompkins earned a relatively small number of votes, with a total of 103 write-in votes cast in the two counties but unspecified as to which candidate.

Wanggaard was elected in 2010, but recalled in 2012 in the furor over Act 10. The man he replaced, John Lehman reclaimed the seat. However, the district has since been reconfigured to make it more of a Republican stronghold.

Wanggaard faced a challenge in the primary election from Jonathan Steitz, who painted himself as the more conservative of the two candidates.

In the end, Wanggaard rode his unwavering support for Gov. Scott Walker – who was also re-elected Tuesday – to victory.

Wanggaard called the victory “getting back to work, and building on what we’ve already put in place.”

Vos wins big

A political matchup of David vs. Goliath went Goliath’s way Tuesday evening, as state Assembly speaker Robin Vos earned re-election to the 63rd District.

Robin Vos

Robin Vos

The Republican incumbent was battling Andy Mitchell for the position. Mitchell refused to accept any PAC money and ran the campaign on a shoestring budget.

Unofficial results in Racine County had Vos with nearly 61 percent of the vote – 15,348 votes to 8,912 for Mitchell.

It was the largest margin of victory in any of his elections, Vos said Tuesday evening at a victory party at Veterans Terrace in Burlington.

“I think it’s an example that people are happy with the job we are doing in Madison,” Vos said. “Controlling taxes, focusing on solving problems and making sure Wisconsin moves forward.”

Ryan wins another term

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janseville, also earned a decisive win in his second race against Rob Zerban, a Democrat from Kenosha.

The unofficial total shows Ryan, who was the Republican nominee for vice president in the 2012 election, with 64 percent of the vote.

For more in-depth coverage of the local races, pick up copies of this week’s Burlington Standard Press, Waterford Post or Westine Report.