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Democrat Pfaff defeats Kapanke for Wisconsin’s 32nd Senate District by less than 600 votes

Rick Solem

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Democrat Brad Pfaff (left) and Republican Dan Kapanke.

Perhaps the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state Senate should have confirmed Brad Pfaff as the Gov. Tony Evers’ agriculture secretary.

Because now Pfaff is a Wisconsin state Senator.

Pfaff defeated Republican challenger Dan Kapanke in Tuesday’s election — a state race that had the most money thrown into it.

Pfaff won with 50.3 percent of the vote to Kapanke’s 49.7 percent. Pfaff won 48,853-48,264 — a difference of just 589 votes. A recount may be in the works.

In 2016, Kapanke lost to Jennifer Shilling for the 32nd in a race decided by 56 votes, which led to a recount.

Kapanke defeated Pfaff in 2004 to win the seat, before losing the post in a 2011 recall to Shilling.

In La Crosse County, Pfaff had 36,042 votes to Kapanke’s 30,850.

After being the state’s ag secretary for much of 2019, Pfaff was not confirmed by the Senate. Not long after, then-state Sen. Shilling retired, leaving her post as the Minority Leader, and opening up a seat in the district, where Pfaff is from.

So, Pfaff threw his name into the race and here we are.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse