Voters narrow field to Zunker, Tiffany
Special election to fill 7th Congressional District seat is May 12
County polling places were flooded with voters Tuesday as higher than expected numbers voted in the spring primary.
On the ballot were the judicial primary to reduce the number of people running for state supreme court from three to two as well as partisan primaries for Republicans and Democrats for the 7th Congressional District seat previously held by Rep. Sean Duffy.
Taylor County had a total of 3,444 votes cast in Tuesday’s election. By comparison the April 2018 election had under 2,800 voters come to the polls. Only about half as many voters that voted in the 2018 governor’s election voted on Tuesday.
Taylor County voters followed the rest of the district in throwing their support behind state senator Tom Tiffany on the Republican side and Tricia Zunker on the Democrat side.
Tiffany received 1,561 votes to Jason Church’s 1,184 votes. District-wide, Tiffany had 57% of the vote with 43,669 compared to Church’s 43% with 32,287 votes.
“I want to thank everyone for their warm support of Bella and me these past few months. It has been a fantastic journey, I’ve met so many wonderful people across the 7th Congressional District. While the results didn’t turn out the way we hoped, we will always remember the love and support that you’ve shown us,” Church said of the loss. Church also threw his support behind Tiffany in the May special election.
On the Democrat side, Zunker had a lopsided win over Lawrence Dale both in the county and district wide. County voters in the Democrat primary favored Zunker 538 to 81 over Dale. District wide Zunker had 89% of the vote with 35,564 votes to Dale’s 11% with 4,473 votes.
The other race on the ballot was to narrow the field for a 10-year term on the state supreme court. In that race incumbent Daniel Kelly had a commanding victory among Taylor County votes with 2,446 votes compared to 665 for Dane County judge Jill Karofsky and 180 for Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone.
Statewide voters also favored Kelly and Karofsky. Kelly had 352,860 votes statewide, about 50% of the total votes. Karofsky had 261,721 votes or about 37% with Fallone having 89,181 or about 13%.
“We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go in the next seven weeks,” said Karofsky of making it through the primary. “I look forward to traveling across Wisconsin, talking to voters, and making our case. My opponent and his special-interest allies will throw every bit of mud they can, but I have the record, the commitment to the rule of law, and the toughness required to win this race.”
In his statement on the primary win, Kelly said, “I am first and foremost incredibly grateful for the support our campaign has received from folks all across the state.”
“[Tuesday’s] results prove that Wisconsinites are passionate about preserving their constitution and upholding the rule of law on their Supreme Court. This has been my commitment to my bosses – the people of Wisconsin – since I came to the court, and I am so thankful for their support. The results also demonstrate the power of our grassroots volunteers who have selflessly spent their nights and weekends engaging with voters about the importance of this race. Your support, enthusiasm, and energy has given our campaign the momentum we need — momentum that will lead us to victory on April 7th,” he said.