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Waukesha judge comments on getting into Wisconsin Supreme Court race

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FILE - Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Dorow listens as Darrell Brooks gives his closing remarks during his sentencing in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A judge in Waukesha County said Monday that she will make a decision on whether to run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court “in the coming days.”

It’s the first public comments from Jennifer Dorow, a conservative, about a potential run for the state Supreme Court.

She has been considering getting into the race for weeks, after she garnered national attention while presiding over the Darrell Brooks trial.

Dorow told WTMJ that she has “been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement to consider a run for the Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court race is important for both political sides, as the winner will determine the ideological makeup of the court, which is currently controlled 4-3 by conservatives.

One of the conservative justices, 82-year-old Patience Roggensack, is retiring, creating the open seat.

The court has been bitterly partisan for more than a decade and ruled on several major policy disputes, including upholding Republican-drawn legislative maps and banning absentee ballot drop boxes.

Several major cases are expected to head before the court next year, including a challenge to Wisconsin’s 173-year-old abortion ban law.

Dane County Circuit Judge Everett Mitchell and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, both liberals, are running, as is Dan Kelly, a conservative former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice.

A Feb. 21 primary will narrow the field to two finalists for the April 4 election. The winner will take the seat in August.

A jury convicted Brooks on six counts of first-degree intentional homicide following the live-streamed trial and Dorow sentenced him to life in prison on Nov. 16.

Dorow declined to discuss the case with WTMJ, due to a pending appeal, but said the case was her biggest ever and she was proud of how she handled it.

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