Milwaukee Democratic state Sen. LaTonya Johnson survived a primary challenge Tuesday, as did three Republicans from the area.
Former state Rep. Kelda Roys of Madison also won a seven-way Democratic primary to succeed Democratic Sen. Fred Risser of Madison, who is retiring after more than six decades in the state Legislature.
Candidates who moved forward in Tuesday’s partisan primary now turn their sights to the Nov. 3 general election, when turnout and voting by mail are expected to sharply rise as voters cast their ballots in the presidential race.
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Milwaukee-area legislative races
Senate District 6 (D): Johnson warded off a challenge from Michelle Bryant, the chief of staff for state Sen. Lena Taylor.
She will face Republican candidate Alciro Deacon to represent the district that covers parts of Milwaukee’s north and west sides.
Johnson said she was pleased with her victory and criticized Taylor for Bryant getting into the race. She accused Taylor of getting involved because Johnson took Taylor’s seat on the Legislature’s budget committee and Johnson endorsed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett when Taylor challenged him this spring.
“This challenge was all about retaliation. It had absolutely nothing to do with me, my work ethic,” Johnson said. “I’m done with keeping Lena’s behavior a secret. I’m not doing that anymore.”
Taylor dismissed Johnson’s criticism and said Johnson was frustrated that attention had been brought on legislation Johnson backed that set mandatory minimum sentences for violent offenders caught with guns.
“The senator just doesn’t like being called out, and I get it,” Taylor said.
Senate District 28 (R): Businessman and former La Crosse County Republican Party Chairman Julian Bradley won a five-way race in the primary to succeed Dave Craig, who did not seek reelection.
He beat out leadership trainer Steve Bobowski, attorney Dan Griffin, Army veteran and businessman Jim Engstrand and attorney Marina Croft.
Bradley will face Democratic candidate and businessman Adam Murphy in November.
They are running to represent the district that includes parts of southern Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.
Assembly District 8 (R and D): The seat left open by outgoing Democratic incumbent JoCasta Zamarripa saw primaries among both Republicans and Democrats looking to represent the district on Milwaukee’s near south side. Zamarripa was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in April.
In the Democratic primary, Milwaukee County Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez defeated community organizer Joanna Bautch.
The Republican primary has not yet been called. Marine veteran and nonprofit founder Ruben Velez faces businessman Angel Sanchez.
Assembly District 9: Democratic incumbent Marisabel Cabrera beat Christian Saldivar in the primary. Cabrera will face Republican candidate and medical interpreter Veronica Diaz in November in the south side district.
Assembly District 11: Dora Drake, a nonprofit member services coordinator, carried a four way race over Glendale Ald. Tomika Vukovic, community advocate Curtis Cook II and business man Carl Gates.
Drake will face Orlando Owens in the general election. The winner will succeed Democratic incumbent Jason Fields, who did not seek re-election.
Assembly District 14 (R): Church outreach director Bonnie Lee won a three-way Republican primary to challenge Democratic incumbent Robyn Vining.
She beat out electrician Steven Shevey and former special education teacher Linda Boucher in the primary.
The district includes parts of Waukesha and Milwaukee counties and includes Brookfield and Wauwatosa.
Assembly District 17: Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde won a three-way Democratic primary to replace David Crowley, who left the seat after he was elected Milwaukee County executive in April.
He beat teacher and veteran Mike Brox, and Democratic Party of Milwaukee County Chairman Chris Walton and will face Republican candidate Abie Eisenbach in November.
The district spans parts of Milwaukee’s west side.
Assembly District 60 (R): Republican incumbent Robert Brooks survived a primary challenge from health care consultant and former Cedarburg City Council member Chris Reimer.
There are no Democrats on the ballot to represent the district that includes parts of Ozaukee and Washington counties.
Assembly District 82 (R and D): Republican incumbent Ken Skowronski beat his primary challenger, attorney Theodore Kafkas.
In the Democratic primary, Yale graduate Jacob Malinowski defeated businessman Paul McCreary.
The district covers parts of southwestern Milwaukee County including Greendale and Franklin.
Assembly District 98 (R): Rep. Adam Neylon of Pewaukee cruised to victory in the Republican primary against health care consultant Rob Ochoa. Neylon does not have a Democratic opponent in November.
Milwaukee County races
In Milwaukee County, incumbent Israel Ramón overcame a challenge from County Supervisor John Weishan Jr. in the Democratic primary for the office of Register of Deeds.
Roys wins State Sen. Fred Risser’s seat of nearly six decades
Roys won a seven-way Democratic primary to replace Risser, who is retiring after 64 years in the Legislature. No Republican is running for the heavily Democratic District 26 seat, so the way is cleared for Roys to win in the fall.
Roys served in the Assembly from 2009 to 2013. She ran for governor in 2018, coming in third in an eight-way primary.
Legislative races outside Milwaukee area
Senate District 10 (R): Republican Rep. Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond defeated sales manager Cherie Link of Somerset to take on Democratic Sen. Patty Schactner of Somerset in the fall. Schacter won the GOP-leaning district in a 2018 special election and she is one of the Republicans’ top targets this year.
Senate District 14 (R): Republican Rep. Joan Ballweg of Markesan beat former Waupaca County Supervisor Ken Van Dyke Sr. of Scandanavia. She will face Joni Anderson of Adams in November for the seat being given up by retiring Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon.
Senate District 16 (D): Democratic Rep. Melissa Sargent of Madison defeated Monona Grove School Board President Andrew McKinney. She will face Republican Scott Barker, a firefighter from Sun Prairie, for the seat belonging to outgoing Democratic Sen. Mark Miller of Monona.
Senate District 30 (D): De Pere Ald. Jonathon Hansen beat accountant Sandra Ewald of Green Bay in the Democratic primary to replace Hansen’s uncle, retiring Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay. He will face Republican Eric Wimberger, an attorney from Green Bay, in November.
Senate District 32 (D): Former state Agriculture Secretary Brad Pfaff of Onalaska defeated two other Democrats in the primary to replace Democrat Jennifer Shilling, who stepped down from the Senate in May. Pfaff will face former Sen. Dan Kapanke, a Republican from La Crosse.
Republicans in the Senate fired Pfaff as Gov. Tony Evers’ agriculture secretary last year after he criticized them for temporarily withholding mental health funding for farmers.
Assembly District 90 (D): Green Bay School Board member Kristina Shelton defeated first-term Rep. Staush Gruszynski of Green Bay in a Democratic primary. Shelton challenged Gruszynski after he acknowledged sexually harassing a legislative aide and leaders stripped him of his committee assignments.
Shelton will face Republican Drew Kirsteatte of Green Bay in November.