NewsLocal News


Democrats win traditionally conservative Wisconsin district

Gov. Walker says it's a wake-up call
Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 13:03:48-05

MADISON -- Patty Schachtner's victory over an incumbent Republican state representative in Wisconsin's 10th Senate District on Tuesday is just one of many recent wins for Democrats across the nation. 

This upset in particular, however, caught Republican Governor Scott Walker's attention. The governor, who is up for re-election to a third term this November, tweeted minutes after Schachtner's win. He called it a "wake up call for Republicans in Wisconsin."

The state Senate district Schachtner won has trended Republican for years. Mitt Romney won it in 2012 and Trump won it in 2016. Former Republican Rep. Sheila Harsdorf held the seat from 2001 until November when she resigned to become Walker's agriculture secretary.

Heading into the race in northwestern Wisconsin as an underdog, Schachtner attributes her victory over Rep. Adam Jarchow to running a "kind campaign." 

"People sent a message tonight: We don't want to be negative anymore," she said Tuesday. "Change it up... My message has always been be kind, be considerate and we need to help people when they're down."

Walker was not the only one to take note of Schachtner's win. Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Martha Laning posted to Facebook following the results of the race, declaring that "change is coming!"

A lot more change is needed for Democrats in Wisconsin to pull ahead, however. With Schachtner's win, Republicans still hold an 18-14 in the state Senate with one open seat. 

Walker has not yet called a special election for that open seat, currently held by a Republican. It will remain open until a replacement is selected in the fall.