|Wisconsin judicial elections, 2014|
|Total candidates:|| 52|
- 1 Election dates
- 2 Appellate courts
- 3 Circuit courts
- 3.1 Barron County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.2 Chippewa County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.3 Dane County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.4 Dunn County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.5 Florence/Forest Counties Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.6 Jefferson County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.7 Kenosha County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.8 Marathon County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.9 Marinette County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.10 Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.11 Outagamie County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.12 Polk County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.13 Price County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.14 Racine County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.15 St. Croix County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.16 Washington County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.17 Waukesha County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 3.18 Waupaca County Circuit Court, Wisconsin
- 4 Process
- 5 In the news
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
The Wisconsin judicial elections are consistently some of the earliest in the nation, concluding in April. In 2014, the following counties saw contested judicial elections for the circuit courts: Dunn, Florence, Forest, Jefferson, Milwaukee and Waupaca.
- January 7: Filing deadline
- February 18: Primary
- April 1: General election
In addition to candidate lists, this page includes information about how the state's judicial elections work, as well as articles about notable news in races across the state.
Jump to county:
Branch 1Seat 1Branch 3Branch 32Branch 2
Judges in Wisconsin participate in non-partisan elections. Wisconsin is one of four states that hold judicial elections every year, along with Louisiana, New York and Ohio.
A primary is held on the third Tuesday in February to nominate judicial candidates for the spring election. Candidates seeking election must file by December 1 preceding the spring general election. A primary is required to be held if more than two candidates file for nomination to the supreme court, the same district of an appellate court or for the same branch of a circuit court. If the number of candidates for office does not exceed twice the number to be elected to the office a primary is not held and all the candidates will appear on the ballot in the spring election. The two candidates who receive the most votes in a primary race advance to the general election.
A spring election is held on the first Tuesday in April.
In the news
The following articles were current as of the dates listed, though new developments may not be included.
Wisconsin election wrap-upApril 3, 2014
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|See also: JP Election Brief: Who's qualified? Courts, candidates and special interest groups all want a say
On April 1, Wisconsin kicked off the season with their spring general election. While official results are still in the works, many county websites have posted unofficial totals containing some interesting results. In the race for Branch 1 of the Dunn County Circuit Court,James M. Peterson has come out on top. Peterson defeated Roger M. Hillestad in the primary and received 51.5% of the vote in the general election, trumping Christina M. Mayer's 39.8%. The contested race for Branch 3 of the Jefferson County Circuit Court, Dave Wambach triumphed over opponent Joann Miller. Wambach won with 57.6% of the electorate compared to Miller's 42.4%.
In an unexpected upset, Vicki Taggatz Clussman has defeated the newly appointed incumbent Keith A. Steckbauer for Branch 2 of the Waupaca County Circuit Court. Clussman, who has served as Assistant District Attorney for Waupaca County since 1987, received 57.5% of the vote to Steckbauer's 42.3%. Steckbauer is a former attorney and owner of the firm Steckbauer Law S.C.. He was appointed to the bench by Governor Scott Walker on January 14, 2014. The race in Waupaca has been hotly contested since the primary, where Clussman and Steckbauer prevailed over challengers Brenda Starr Freeman and Edmund J. Jelinski.
Upcoming results from Florence County will determine if Leon Stenz or Robert A. Kennedy, Jr. will take the bench on the Florence/Forest Counties Circuit Court. Milwaukee County is also still in the process of posting election results, so stay tuned to Judgepedia's coverage of Wisconsin's 2014 judicial elections to find out whether Laura Gramling Perez or Cedric Cornwall will win Branch 32 of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
Wisconsin election previewMarch 27, 2014
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|See also: JP Election Brief: Women successful in judicial races as incumbents face challengers
Wisconsin voters, get ready because your state is leading off the nation with a spring general election coming up on Tuesday, April 1!
Judges in Wisconsin run in non-partisan elections across the board. Supreme court judges run for ten-year terms, appellate and circuit court judges run for six-year terms. If a judge leaves office mid-term, the Governor appoints a new judge who must then run in the next election. A situation like this happened earlier this year with the Waupaca County Circuit Court. Governor Scott Walker appointed Judge Keith A. Steckbauer to the bench to fill the vacancy left by retiring Judge John Hoffmann. Steckbauer prevailed in the primary election and will face opponent Vicki Taggatz Clussman in the upcoming general election.
The majority of this year's judicial races in Wisconsin will be unopposed, with a few exceptions. Laura Gramling Perez will face Cedric Cornwall to compete for Branch 32 of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. For Branch 3 of the Jefferson County Circuit Court, Dave Wambach and Joann Miller will face off. Robert A. Kennedy, Jr. is challenging incumbent Leon Stenz of the Florence/Forest Counties Circuit Court. Christina M. Mayer and James M. Peterson are competing for a seat on the Dunn County Circuit Court. This year there are no supreme court judges up for re-election, or vacancies to fill, but Patricia Curley, Lisa Neubauer and Gary Sherman are all seeking re-election at the appellate level.
While most of the judicial elections in Wisconsin this year will be unopposed races, there are a handful of contested seats. Keep an eye out for the results on Judgepedia, and remember to vote on April 1!
Wisconsin 4-way showdownFebruary 13, 2014
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|See also: JP Election Brief: The Election Brief is back!
The retirement of former judge John Hoffmann from the Waupaca County Circuit Court in Wisconsin has sparked a perfect storm for a competitive judicial election.
Keith A. Steckbauer, Edmund J. Jelinski, Vicki Taggatz Clussman and Brenda Starr Freeman have all filed for candidacy to replace Hoffmann. Steckbauer was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to finish the remainder of Hoffmann’s term. He ran a private practice for 17 years prior to that appointment. The other three challengers bring a wealth of public and private legal experience to the race. Clussman is a veteran assistant district attorney in Waupaca County, having served in that position for 26 years. Freeman has served as a probate contract guardian in Outagamie County and part-time district attorney in Waupaca County. Jelinski has been a private practice attorney since 2003, and was a district attorney previously.
The upcoming primary on February 18 will eliminate two of the candidates. The remaining contenders will face voters in the April 1 general election. Though Steckbauer may have a slight incumbency advantage, he has only held the position for a little over a month. The possibility of split votes and all of the confounding variables that result from a four-way race make such a campaign difficult on candidates. The nonpartisan nature of Wisconsin judicial races means it is everyone vs. everyone.
- ↑ Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Elections"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Wisconsin Legislative Council, "Overview of the Election Law in Wisconsin," archived March 31, 2014
- ↑ Judgepedia.org, "Judicial Elections by State," accessed April 30, 2014
- ↑ American Judicature Society, "Methods of Judicial Selection: Wisconsin," accessed March 31, 2014
- ↑ Dunn County Website, "Tabular Statement of Votes Cast," April 1, 2014
- ↑ Wisconsin Election Watch, "Jefferson County Judge: David Wambach Easily Defeats JoAnn Miller," accessed April 2, 2014
- ↑ Waupaca County Website, "Tabular Statement of Votes Cast," April 1, 2014
- ↑ Wisconsin Election Watch, "Keith Steckbauer," accessed January 20, 2014
- ↑ WSAW News, "Governor Scott Walker Appoints Waupaca County Judge," January 16, 2014
- ↑ Dunn County, Unofficial election results for the February 18, 2014 primary.
- ↑ Waupaca County, Unofficial election results of the February 18, 2014 primary.
- ↑ Appleton Post Crescent, Primary elections narrow race for council, county board seats.
- ↑ County Post, “What makes a fair judge,” By Robert Cloud, January 30, 2014
- ↑ Postcresant.com, Waupaca county judge, district 2. Date accessed, February 10, 2014
- ↑ County Post, “Five candidates for judge,” by Robert Cloud, December 19, 2013