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As I See It

New legislative maps already providing more competitive races



We were told that when gerrymandered legislative maps were redrawn in Wisconsin, that legislative races would become more competitive. And while the election is still months away, it is clear the races have already become more competitive. That is because for the first time in more than 20 years, every legislative seat up for election in November will feature a candidate from each political party. Not one legislator is running unopposed. That is significant because for years the extreme partisanship of the legislative maps stifled competition so many lawmakers didn’t have anyone to run against them. Not only are there more candidates running, but it is likely we will see an unprecedented level of spending on political advertising. The forecast is that political ad spending in this year’s election for Wisconsin state Senate will be “historic” and “massive.” The state’s Democratic party chair is predicting upward of $20 million will be spent to promote the democratic candidates. We’re not looking forward to that. But it is good to see increased interest in people running for office, and this November, for the first time in years, Wisconsin voters will have real choices at the polls.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Roy

    May 16, 2024 at 9:37 am

    That’s what it looks like on the surface, Scott. Let’s back up.
    The Republicans held a majority in the Assembly and Senate because they got more votes in their respective districts, not because possible Democrat candidates were whining “I don’t have a chance.” And no Democrat ran.
    Republicans still ran in strong Democrat districts.
    This is all a master plan by Democrats, and, hey, that’s OK. That’s politics. No gripes here.
    From the Supreme Court and Judge Janet first, then throw out the old rules, then have Tony Evers write a new plan, then have the Republicans tag along because they had no choice.
    But, don’t tell us it’s a grand new day and more candidates are now involved. It’s just politics, and that’s why Democrats are betting 20 million on it.

  2. Nathan

    May 16, 2024 at 7:57 pm

    Gerrymandered districts are unwinnable by the definition. It doesn’t matter if people were running or not. Many didn’t because they knew it was frivolous. Now they are because they at least stand a chance.

    • Bob N.

      May 17, 2024 at 7:49 am

      I heard Tony Evers say that during an interview.

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