By TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans silenced any talk Tuesday of a blue wave sweeping them out of control of the Wisconsin Legislature, with GOP incumbents turning back more than enough Democratic challengers to maintain majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate.
The GOP has controlled both houses since 2011. The party’s victories on Tuesday ensure they’ll run things in Madison for two more years. They’ll be able to use their majorities to stymie Tony Evers in the governor’s office. Evers, a Democrat, appeared Wednesday morning to have narrowly won his contest against Gov. Scott Walker, but their race could be headed toward a recount.
The GOP went into Election Day with a 64-35 majority in the Assembly, an all-but insurmountable advantage. With 16 races too close to call early Wednesday morning, Republicans had a 50-33 edge and not a single Republican incumbent had lost so far.
Republicans held only an 18-15 majority in the Senate, however. Democrats had hoped voter anger toward President Donald Trump would put them over the top; the party flipped two GOP seats in special elections earlier this year.
Thirteen Senate seats were in play, including eight Republican seats. Democrats had to hold their five seats and flip three GOP seats.
Not only did Republicans hold their eight seats, but the Republican Andre Jacque came back to defeat the Democratic incumbent Caleb Frostman after losing to him in one of the special elections. Two female challengers whom Democrats had high hopes for, Kriss Marion and Lee Snodgrass, both lost, Marion to Howard Marklein in southwestern Wisconsin’s 17th Senate District and Snodgrass to Senate President Roger Roth in northeastern Wisconsin’s 19th Senate District.
That was enough to give the GOP an 18-13 majority with two races still undecided as the clock ticked past midnight.