MADISON— National Democrats are crowing over picking up a legislative seat in a Wisconsin special election.
Democrats split two races for open seats on Tuesday, but with both seats previously held by Republicans, they portrayed the outcome as more evidence they are poised for midterm success.
Caleb Frostman beat state Rep. Andre Jacque of De Pere in Senate District 1. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee said it’s the 44th district to move from Republican to Democrat since the 2016 election.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder praised Frostman’s victory. Holder’s group aimed at changing the redistricting process spent $175,000 supporting him.
However, Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd has conceded defeat in a race for an open seat in a south-central Wisconsin Assembly seat.
Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s special election in the 42nd Assembly District showed Republican Jon Plumer with a sizeable lead. Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokeswoman Melanie Conklin said Lloyd told her supporters she had conceded about 9:30 p.m.
The win strengthens Republicans’ hold on the Assembly, boosting their majority to 64-35. The Legislature isn’t expected to convene again until January, however, and Plumer will have to run again in November to keep the seat.
Lloyd has already registered to run again, setting up a rematch.
Frostman’s win doesn’t give Democrats control of the Senate. The GOP still holds an 18-15 advantage. But it marks another in a string of Democratic victories this year.
Democrats flipped an open state Senate seat in west-central Wisconsin in January, and liberal-backed Rebecca Dallet won a statewide race for state Supreme Court in April.
Frostman will have to run again in November to keep the seat. Jacque and Republican Bill Nauta have registered to run in fall.