Liberal Outside Groups Spend Big
More spending for Democrats in five of six key state senate races.
With five weeks to go before the Nov. 6 general elections here’s a look at where outside electioneering groups are spending in Wisconsin Senate races as of the end of September:
19th Senate – Incumbent GOP Senate President Roger Roth faces Democrat Lee Snodgrass, both of Appleton. Outside groups, led by the Wisconsin Realtors Association, are spending about $220,400 – the most spending by outside groups so far in a legislative race this year. The Realtors, who are dropping $208,850 in the contest, are backing Roth while three Democratic groups are supporting Snodgrass.
5th Senate – Republican Rep. Dale Kooyenga, of Brookfield, and Democrat Julie Henszey, of Wauwatosa, are looking to fill the open seat being left by GOP Sen. Leah Vukmir, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Four outside groups are spending $21,150 combined in the race. Three groups, led by High Ground Political Fund, are shelling out nearly $17,900 to back Henszey while the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is spending nearly $3,300 to support Kooyenga.
17th Senate – Incumbent Republican Howard Marklein faces Democrat Kriss Marion, of Blanchardville. Four outside groups, led by High Ground Political Fund, are spending about $20,900 combined to support Marion.
1st Senate – Democratic Sen. Caleb Frostman, of Sturgeon Bay, faces GOP Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere. This is a rematch for Frostman, who beat Jacque in a June special election for the seat. So far, five Democratic and Republican groups are spending about $16,550 combined on behalf of the candidates. Three groups, led by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, are spending about $11,800 to back Frostman. Americans for Prosperity and American Majority Action are spending about $4,750 to support Jacque.
Two other open Senate seats have drawn only passing attention from outside electioneering groups. Two groups are spending a total of about $12,000 to back the Democratic candidates in the 23rd and 31st Senate Districts.
Republicans currently hold an 18-15 majority in the state Senate.