• WisPolitics

Saturday, June 30, 2007

 9:42 AM 

Dems high on Butler, legislative races

Buzz about the convention is that state Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler's latest campaign finance filing will show a big improvement in his warchest.

Supreme Court races are non-partisan, but Butler's spot is seen as pivotal to the balance of the court. Butler, a Doyle appointee, is viewed as part of the court's liberal wing.

According to a source close to the campaign, Butler will report $150,000 raised on his June 30 report. His January continuing report listed just $8,938 cash on hand.

Butler faces re-election in April 2008. There are no declared candidates

Dems are also hyped about legislative races. One prominent Dem strategist says that the worst case scenario in the Senate is that the Dems gain only one seat. A particular target will be Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, who the strategist points out is in a district that voted 60 percent for Kerry in the last presidential election. One potential challenger to Kapanke is Dem Rep. Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse, said the source.

Other targets include Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, who is being challenged by Dem Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, and Sen. Carol Roessler, R-Oshkosh, the Dem source said.

"We are taking back the Assembly," the Dem source said. The Dem feels it's possible to knock off Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, who the strategist says holds a 52 percent Dem seat. The source said there is an "exciting" candidate being
recruited, but wouldn't name the potential challenger yet.

-- By Greg Bump


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