Circuit Court Candidates
Three candidates competing for judgeship.
Milwaukeeans voting in the February 18th spring primary election will find a long list of options on their ballot. While we would normally preview the entire race in one article, the ballot will be a long one and we are breaking our preview into multiple parts.
Three candidates are running for a six-year term as a judge on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
The top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to the April 7th general election.
Below you’ll find basic information provided by the candidates themselves and a link to any available campaign resources. And if you click on their name you’ll be brought to any stories written about the candidate. Candidate names are listed in alphabetical order.
Brett is a community activist, experienced attorney, and devoted dad. He has spent his career fighting for the most marginalized in our community. Brett wants to continue his work in the community as a Judge in our Milwaukee County Circuit Court, where he will work to keep our community safe while continuing to fight for those most vulnerable.
Brett is the President & CEO of Cream City Foundation (CCF) in Milwaukee. He has over 15 years of experience in litigation, philanthropy, community organizing and nonprofit management. Before joining CCF, Brett served as the Director of Major Gifts for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), a Milwaukee based AIDS service organization.
Previously Brett served as an attorney with the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office, where he represented low-income individuals that were charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. Brett is a proud former member of AFT Local 4822, the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Association.
Prior to joining the Public Defender’s Office, Brett worked as a Legislative Aide for State Representative Jon Richards in the State Capitol, serving constituents from the City of Milwaukee. He got his start in politics working for leaders like Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Brett was born and raised on a farm and moved around the Midwest growing up. He attended Marquette University and went back to his home state to get his law degree from the University of Missouri.
Brett previously served as an elected Director for the Government Lawyer’s Division of the Wisconsin Bar Association. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Milwaukee, having been appointed by Mayor Tom Barrett and unanimously confirmed by the Common Council.
Brett lives in the Lenox Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee’s west side. He is an active member of Milwaukee’s LGBTQ+ softball league, SSBL-Milwaukee. His husband Chris works for UW-Madison and they have 2 children. The family is active with Miltown LGBT Families in Milwaukee.
Paul Dedinsky began serving as a judge for the Milwaukee County Circuit Court on January 6, 2019. Paul currently serves at the Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center, where he has presided over hundreds of children’s court cases.
Paul Dedinsky has over 25 years of legal experience. Paul began his legal career as a general private practitioner for over 3 and a half years, including service as a Defense Counsel in criminal matters. He then worked for over 20 years as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee. In May of 2017, Paul accepted an opportunity to serve as Chief Legal Counsel to a Wisconsin state agency, DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection).
Paul was born and raised in Milwaukee as the youngest of four children. His parents provided an excellent example of public service and community service. Paul is married to Lisa. The couple has three children.
I’m Zach Whitney and I’m asking for your vote to serve our community on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
I’m a person with strong values who strives for justice. Milwaukee is my home where my family and I love visiting our parks and attending a wide array of cultural offerings. I’m a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, where I live with my wife Madeline, and our two children Harvey and Frankie, both students at Milwaukee Public Schools.
I’ve been fighting for justice in the Milwaukee County Circuit Courts for over fifteen years. I spent eight years as a Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney, where I focused on prosecuting gun violence and domestic violence. I witnessed how violence tears families and neighborhoods apart. It was hard, emotional work, which shaped my commitment to justice. It is a public service of which I’m proud. It helped me understand that our judicial system can only work when both sides are represented equally and diligently.
Like others attempting to provide for their families, my time serving Milwaukee County was cut short by Act 10, which compelled me to leave public service. Since entering private practice, I’ve focused on commercial and business litigation. For the last seven years, I’ve been privileged to represent a wide variety of clients, including many small businesses. It’s been an honor to help “main street” navigate the complexities of our civil court system.My background as a trial attorney is vast and my knowledge of our courts is deep. I’m running for Branch 5 of the Circuit Court because the people of Milwaukee County deserve to have my insight and progressive voice on the bench. Milwaukee County residents have the right to elect a member of our community, who has the experience, commitment to justice, and work ethic, to serve as our judge.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- Pandemic Reduced Black Vote, Study Finds - Dee J. Hall - Jun 25th, 2020
- Did April Election Hike COVID-19 Cases? - Alana Watson - May 20th, 2020
- Elections Commission Notes ‘Lessons Learned’ - Henry Redman - May 19th, 2020
- Wisconsin Elections News: WEC Releases Analysis of Absentee Voting in April 7 Spring Election - Wisconsin Elections Commission - May 18th, 2020
- Election’s Impact on County’s COVID-19 Cases Unclear - Jeramey Jannene - May 6th, 2020
- Why State’s Voting By Mail Was Chaotic - Daniel C. Vock - May 4th, 2020
- At Least 40 COVID-19 Cases Tied to Election in Milwaukee - Graham Kilmer - Apr 24th, 2020
- Data Wonk: Did Republicans Doom Dan Kelly? - Bruce Thompson - Apr 22nd, 2020
- City Hall: 7 COVID-19 Cases From In-Person Voting? - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 22nd, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Republicans Suppress Their Own Voters - Bruce Murphy - Apr 21st, 2020
Read more about 2020 Spring Primary here