Kelly, Karofsky Advance to April General

Incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly will face Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky April 7. State Sen. Tom Tiffany and Ho-Chunk Supreme Court Justice Tricia Zunker both emerged from their primaries, and will face each other May 12 to fill Sean Duffy's 7th Congressional District seat.

By Will Kenneally

February 19, 2020

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Wisconsinite votes in Feb. 18, 2020 spring primary.

Wisconsinite votes in Feb. 18, 2020 spring primary.

Supreme Court candidates Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky will face off in the April 7 general election for the high court. 

Conservative incumbent justice Kelly received close to 50% of the primary votes. Of the two liberal-backed candidates, Karofsky split the remaining votes with Ed Fallone 37% to 13% respectively. 

“Tonight’s results prove that Wisconsinites are passionate about preserving their constitution and upholding the rule of law on their Supreme Court,” Kelly said in a statement.

Karofsky, a circuit court judge in Dane County, turned toward the general election in the wake of her second-place finish. 

“We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go in the next seven weeks,” she said in a statement. 

Turnout for the Supreme Court primary was higher this year compared to the last three-candidate race in 2018. Voters turned out roughly 30% more compared to two years ago.  

Marquette University Law School professor Ed Fallone failed to finish above third in any of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. This election marks his second run for the bench, after his 2013 loss to Chief Justice Patience Roggensack. 

“The election results were obviously not what we wanted or even expected,” Fallone said in a statement. “I am glad that I ran, honored to have had the support of so many kind, thoughtful and caring individuals, and more determined than ever to keep fighting for justice.”

Voters in northern Wisconsin also headed to the polls in a partisan primary to fill the 7th Congressional District seat vacated by Sean Duffy last year. In the Republican-leaning district, state Sen. Tom Tiffany defeated veteran Jason Church in the Republican primary 57%-43%. 

Tiffany thanked his opponent in an election night statement.

Tiffany will face Democrat Tricia Zunker in a May 12 special election. Zunker defeated Lawrence Dale in the Democratic primary by a 78 point margin. 

Full election results are available at https://www.wisconsinvote.org/election-results.

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