While the final results of some federal races are still pending, the November 3 elections have established the structure for the next biennium’s lawmaking environment in both Madison and Washington, D.C.
Republican majorities in the Wisconsin State Assembly and State Senate will continue into the next biennium with minor adjustments in both houses. In the 33-seat Senate, the GOP will add two seats to their majority status, moving to a 21-12 advantage. New Republican presence includes the 10th senate district, with Assembly Representative Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond) beating incumbent State Sen. Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) by more than 20 points in a heavily Republican area. The other seat to switch party affiliation was in the Green Bay area, with Eric Wimberger (R-Green Bay) beating Jonathon Hansen (D-De Pere), nephew of departing State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay).
Overall, there will be eight first-time members of the senate beginning four-year terms in 2021, with a mix of some moving over from the State Assembly while others will be new to the State Capitol.
In the State Assembly just two incumbents running for reelection to the 99-seat house were defeated. Sara Rodriguez (D-Brookfield), a registered nurse and health care consultant, defeated 4-term incumbent Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) by 725 votes in the 13th assembly district, while Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) beat Jim Ott (R-Mequon) by about 1,300 votes. Two physicians ran for Assembly seats this election but lost to established incumbents. Kristin Lyerly, MD, a De Pere OB/GYN, lost to incumbent Republican John Macco in the 88th assembly district, while ER physician Chris Kapsner, MD, fell to incumbent Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) in the 67th assembly district. The Wisconsin Medical Society congratulates Dr. Lyerly and Dr. Kapsner for committing their valuable time and efforts in running for office.
Despite the two GOP losses, Republicans will hold a hefty 61-38 majority in the State Assembly during the 2021-22 biennium.
Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation will look very similar to what it was before election day, with seven incumbents winning reelection to another two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives. The lone competitive contest saw Ron Kind (D-La Crosse) fend off challenger Derrick Van Orden (R-Hager City) in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, winning by just under 11,000 votes out of the more than 388,000 cast. Kind will start serving his 13th term in 2021.
Kind will also become the senior member of the state’s delegation as long-time Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) retires from Congress after more than four decades in the lower house. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) will now represent the 5th House district, with the current State Senate majority leader handily winning the open seat by more than 20 points in besting small business owner Tom Palzewicz (D-Brookfield). Incumbent winners include WI-01 Bryan Steil (R-Janesville), WI-02 Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth), WI-04 Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee), WI-06 Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah), WI-07 Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) and WI-08 Mike Gallagher (R-Allouez).
All of the major Wisconsin general election results can be found here.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Wisconsin physicians will have great potential to influence policymaking as elected officials seek information from those who are on health care’s front lines. The Wisconsin Medical Society helps to make physician participation in grassroots activism easy and efficient, as it alerts physicians when the time is right to support the practice of medicine so physicians can do what they do best: take care of patients. Contact Heidi Green or Mark Grapentine about getting involved in the Society’s political giving and policy grassroots activities. Learn how you can make a difference for the future of your patients and your profession!
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