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Midterm madness is WIZM’s No. 4 story of 2018

Brad Williams

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A “blue wave” moved through Wisconsin politics in 2018, as state voters replaced a two-term Republican governor and the state attorney general with Democrats.

The midterm election ranked as WIZM’s No. 4 story of the year.

Former Tomah High School principal Tony Evers, now the state school superintendent, defeated Gov. Scott Walker in a squeaker election in November, while Josh Kaul unseated Attorney General Brad Schimel.

One weekend in January, the La Crosse County Republican Party hosted both U.S. Senate hopeful Leah Vukmir and state Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock at the same meeting.

Screnock was defeated in April by Rebecca Dallet, giving liberals a Supreme Court seat, which had been held by retiring conservative justice Michael Gableman.

Although Vukmir won the GOP Senate primary, she was unable to unseat Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

Eight Democrats fought for the nomination for governor won by, of course, Evers.

During the fall campaign, Evers and Walker made frequent stops in the La Crosse area with other candidates on their respective tickets.

Lastly, a district attorney recall campaign seemed to lead most local political races in the La Crosse area during the fall election season.

A series of controversies led voters in Trempealeau County to remove DA Taavi McMahon from office during a special election in October.

During the regular November balloting, former assistant DA John Sacia was chosen to succeed McMahon.

The retirement of Lee Nerison made the 96th District Assembly race an open contest, as Loren Oldenburg won the election to keep the seat in Republican hands.

Ron Kind won an 11th term to Congress in western Wisconsin.

In Minnesota, Democratic Congressman Tim Walz gave up his seat, and got elected governor.

The 1st District House seat, however, went back to Republicans, with the election of Jim Hagedorn.

Democrats did hold onto both U.S. Senate seats in Minnesota, as voters gave new terms to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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