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.
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More about the 2020 Spring Primary
- Appeals Court Upholds Absentee Ballot Extension - Ruth Conniff - Apr 4th, 2020
- Mayoral Candidate Sues To Delay Election - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 4th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Common Council Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 4th, 2020
- Legislative Leaders Release Statement on 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Photo Gallery: Drive-Up Voting - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Op Ed: Should Elected Officials Work the Polls? - Gregory Humphrey - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Milwaukee Will Have Only Five In-Person Voting Sites - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Sending Milwaukee to the polls has never been this frightening - Ald. Milele Coggs - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele Applauds Evers’ Call to Stop In-person Voting - County Executive Chris Abele - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Governor Evers Calls Special Legislative Session To Delay Election - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Statement of Marlene Ott, President of the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans - Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans - Apr 3rd, 2020
- Gov. Evers’ Statement on Judge Conley’s Order Regarding Upcoming April 7 Election - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 2nd, 2020
- Absentee Ballot Deadlines Extended, Election Not Delayed by Federal Judge - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 2nd, 2020
- Fitzgerald Reacts to Evers Statement on April 7th Election - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Apr 1st, 2020
- Press Release: Gov. Evers’ Statement on Upcoming April 7 Election - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 1st, 2020
- Vote Absentee, Local Officials Plead - Graham Kilmer - Apr 1st, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Republicans Risk Public Health With Election - Bruce Murphy - Apr 1st, 2020
- Sanders Statement on Wisconsin Primary - Bernie Sanders - Apr 1st, 2020
- City Forecasts Election Results Two Days Late - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 31st, 2020
- Supreme Court Upholds Photo ID Requirement for Absentee Voters - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Mar 31st, 2020
- Will No One Have the Courage and Good Sense to Postpone the Spring General Election? - Ald. Bob Donovan - Mar 31st, 2020
- Vote Absentee: City Treasurer Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 31st, 2020
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- Evers, Republicans Spar on Holding Election - Erik Gunn - Mar 30th, 2020
- Milwaukee Election Worker Staffing Drops As Cases Rise - City of Milwaukee Election Commission - Mar 29th, 2020
- Supreme Decision - Bill Lueders - Mar 29th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Comptroller Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 29th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Mayoral Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 29th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Milwaukee County Executive - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 29th, 2020
- Federal Judge Won’t Delay Spring Election - Laurel White - Mar 28th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Milwaukee County Circuit Court – Branch 29 - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 28th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Milwaukee County Circuit Court – Branch 5 - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 28th, 2020
- Vote Absentee: Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 28th, 2020
- Milwaukee Establishes Drive-Up Early Voting - City of Milwaukee Election Commission - Mar 27th, 2020
- Governor Calls for Mail-In Election - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 27th, 2020
- County Clerk Christenson and All 19 Municipal Clerks in Milwaukee County Ask State Leadership for April 7th Spring General Election Changes - George Christenson - Mar 27th, 2020
- Fitzgerald Rejects Evers’ Idea as Fantasy - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Mar 27th, 2020
- Statement: County Clerks’ Clear Violation of the Law - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Mar 27th, 2020
- City Will Accept Absentee Ballots, Serve as Required Witness at Five Sites - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 26th, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Will Legislature Delay Election? - Bruce Murphy - Mar 25th, 2020
- 23 Advisory Votes on Gerrymandering - Matt Rothschild - Mar 25th, 2020
- Barrett Calls for Mail-In Only Election, Delay - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 24th, 2020
- Milwaukee Cancels Early Voting - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 22nd, 2020
- Milwaukee Closing Early Voting Sites - City of Milwaukee Election Commission - Mar 22nd, 2020
- Online Voter Registration Reinstated by Federal Judge - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 21st, 2020
- Governor Evers Doesn’t Want Election Rescheduled - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 20th, 2020
- Voters Wanting Absentee Ballot Must be Registered by March 18th - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 18th, 2020
- Please Vote Absentee In Spring Election - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 16th, 2020
- Want $130? City Needs Poll Workers - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 15th, 2020
- 9 Election Takeaways - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 19th, 2020
- Election Results: 2020 Spring Primary - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 18th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: County Board Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 17th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: Common Council Races - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 17th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: County Executive Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 17th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: Circuit Court Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 17th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: State Supreme Court Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 17th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: Comptroller Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 15th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: City Attorney Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 15th, 2020
- Vote Tuesday: Mayoral Candidates - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 14th, 2020