Winners in Tuesday’s high-profile primaries earned spots on this spring’s general election ballots by large margins.
In the state Supreme Court primary, incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly led the way with 352,855 votes, or 50%, followed by Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky’s 261,721 votes, or 37%.
Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone was eliminated from the race after tallying 89,181 votes, or 13%.
Kelly and Karofsky earned the right to appear on the April 7 ballot with a 10-year term at stake.
The Supreme Court race is officially nonpartisan, but Kelly is part of the court’s five-member conservative majority. Republicans have thrown their support behind him after then-Gov. Scott Walker appointed him to the bench in 2016 to replace the retiring David Prosser.
Karofsky is a Dane County judge who worked as a crime victim advocate for the state Justice Department. Liberals have thrown their support behind her.
In the special election to fill the seat vacated by former GOP U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy in northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, received 43,669 votes, or 57%, to top retired Army Capt. Jason Church of Hudson in the Republican primary. Church tallied 32,287 votes, or 43%, in the most expensive congressional primary in state history.
On the Democratic side, Tricia Zunker, president of the Wausau school board, received 35,564 votes, or 89%, to cruise to victory over Lawrence Dale, who got 4,473 votes, or 11%. Zunker, a justice on the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court, is trying to become the first Native American elected to Congress from Wisconsin.
Tiffany and Zunker square off in the May 12 special election. The winner will have to run again in November to serve a full two-year term.