In a surprisingly big victory last night, Democratic candidate Patty Schachtner defeated Republican Adam Jarchnow in the race for State Senate District 10. This was considered a bellweather race nationally, revolving around a state senate seat that had been held for 17 years by Republican Sheila Harsdorf, who has left the Senate to take a place in the Walker administration.  This is one of a growing string of red-to-blue seat reversals around the country, and does not bode well for Republican chances in the state. Although SD10 is not as consistently Republican as some districts in the state (and has perhaps been held as much by Sheila Harsdorf's personal popularity as her party), the size of the Republican defeat is surprising. Schachtner received 55 percent of the vote in the election, breezing by her Republican (44%) and Independent (1%) challengers. Schachtner's win came mainly in the more urban counties in her district, with Jarchow winning in some of the less-populated rural areas.

This is a district that was won by President Trump by  a 17 percent margin, so this is a decided party shift for the district. Certainly some of this result was from a strong grassroots showing of the Democrats in contacting voters and turning out the vote for Democrats. Many saw the campaign literature from Jarchow as mean-spirited (some of which seemed to equate Schachtner's inability at one time to keep up with payments to her school district as some form of criminal activity), which may also have affected the outcome.

This morning Governor Walker responded to the results of this election with a series of tweets, calling the election a wake-up call. In the tweets the governor seemed to be implying that the Republicans have not told their story well enough to win this election, but seemed not to consider the possibility that the actions of Republicans in the state legislature may actually be the problem here.

Congratulations to Senator-Elect Schachtner on a very strong win.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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