Progressive Jill Karofsky Wins Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

By Jonathon Sadowski

April 13, 2020

Biden wins primary. Results were delayed six days in an election wrapped in court challenges

Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky has declared victory in the Wisconsin state Supreme Court race against incumbent conservative Justice Dan Kelly.

Early results showed Karofsky with a 6-point lead over Kelly just before 7 p.m., according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The race was tight until results came in from the City of Milwaukee, giving Karofsky a huge boost from the liberal stronghold. 

“I’m honored to have earned the trust of the people across this state who believe in a tough, fair, and independent judiciary and I promise to never forget those principles as their Wisconsin Supreme Court justice,” Karofsky said in a statement.

Sixty-two percent of precincts in Democrat-dominated Dane County still had yet to report. Conservative strongholds Washington, Waukesha, and Ozaukee counties had some outstanding results as well.

Ballots statewide could not be counted until 4 p.m. Monday as part of legal skirmishes about election dates, a governor’s executive powers, the due dates for absentee ballots and more. Lawsuits are still being filed about various aspects of last Tuesday’s election.

Karofsky also took time to criticize the April 7 election, which was held in-person despite the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Nobody in this state or this country should have been forced to choose between their safety and participating in an election,” she said. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, easily secured a win in last week’s primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, dropped out last Wednesday, one day after the election. Sanders endorsed Biden on Monday.

Marsy’s Law, a controversial victims’-rights amendment that the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin said “is harmful and misguided” because it undermines rights of the accused, passed easily, with 76 percent voting in favor as of 7 p.m.

Progressive organizations, politicians, and publications opposed the amendment on similar grounds, but a slick, expensive ad campaign featuring Kelsey Grammer and a prominent local domestic abuse survivor was ubiquitous in the weeks leading up to the election.


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