Sunday, January 21st

State

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Democrat Patty Schachtner speaks to supporters as she campaigned in the special election for the senate seat vacated by former Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls). Patty Schachtner campaign

Democrat Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County, will take the seat that had been held for 17 years by former Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls).(Photo: Patty Schachtner campaign)

MADISON - In a special election that drew national attention and put the GOP on notice in Wisconsin, Democrats won a Republican-leaning Senate seat while racking up big gains in university communities and traditionally conservative suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Gov. Scott Walker — who had already been pushing traditionally Democratic issues like funding increases for schools — tweeted almost immediately that the results late Tuesday were a "wake-up call for Republicans." 

“I think that race is a wake-up call certainly to me and the folks who work for me," Walker said again Wednesday at a stop at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

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Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman.(Photo: Mark Hoffman)Buy Photo

When U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman was asked about some of President Donald Trump's controversial comments, the Republican responded at an event honoring the late Martin Luther King Jr. that President Barack Obama invited civil rights activist Al Sharpton to the White House on numerous occasions.

 “The past president brought Al Sharpton into the White House something like 80 times,” Grothman said on Monday at a Ripon College event. “That was kind of stunning to me, but nobody ever made a big ruckus out of it.”

Grothman's comments were first reported by the Ripon Commonwealth Press. 

Grothman was responding to a question from a panel member at the King event about remarks Trump has made, apparently referring to some of the tweets and comments of the president that have been controversial and widely criticized. Grothman was not asked about nor did he mention Trump's disparaging comments from immigrants from African and other countries.

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Six takeaways from the Democrats' upset of Republicans in Wisconsin's 10th Senate District. Wochit

mugshot of Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) and Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County(Photo: handouts from the candidates)

MADISON -  Ten months out from the November election, Democrats Tuesday won a GOP-leaning state Senate seat in western Wisconsin, underlining the possibility of a blue wave in Wisconsin this fall.

Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County, beat state Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) in the special election and took a seat that had been held for 17 years by former Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and won by President Donald Trump by 17 points. 

Here are six takeaways:

1. This race is a bad sign for Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP. 

Here's the proof: Walker himself isn't even trying to spin this loss, calling the upset a "wake-up call for Republicans.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.(Photo: Olivier Douliery, TNS)

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker reported Tuesday that he had raised $3.7 million in the last half of 2017 and had $4.2 million in cash, underlining the huge financial advantage he will carry into the November campaign over a fragmented Democratic field. 

Walker's fundraising easily outpaced the just over $2 million raised by his Democrat challengers combined and the just over $1 million they had in cash. It fell short of the $5.1 million that the governor raised in last half of 2013 and the $4.6 million in cash he had during the same point in his previous election campaign. 

The numbers were still sobering for Democrats, however.

In addition to Walker's own campaign cash,Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch had $1.4 million in cash and the state GOP had $2 million for a total of $7 million heading into 2018. Those totals were $2 million ahead of the 2013 numbers and made it clear that whichever Democrat wins the August primary, his or her campaign would find itself substantially outmatched in the money race.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.(Photo: Olivier Douliery, TNS)

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker reported Tuesday that he had a more than $4 million campaign war chest, underlining the huge financial advantage he will carry into the November campaign over a fragmented Democratic field. 

Meanwhile, several Walker's challengers on the left reported significant fundraising totals but none of them came close to the money amassed by the Republican incumbent. 

In addition to Walker's own campaign cash, he reported that Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch had $1.4 million and the state GOP had $2 million for a total of $7 million. That made it clear that whichever Democrat wins the August primary, his or her campaign would find itself substantially outmatched in the money race.  

Walker didn't say, however, how much he raised in the final six months of 2017.

Of the Democrats, former state party chairman Matt Flynn had the most cash on hand and came close to also raising the most cash after excluding the candidates' own money.