Court Watch

Kelly, Karofsky Divide the County

Karofsky wins Milwaukee and North Shore, Kelly wins southern suburbs in high court race.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Feb 24th, 2020 02:26 pm
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Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky.

Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky.

State Supreme Court candidate Jill Karofsky won in most of the north-shore suburbs of Milwaukee County in Tuesday’s primary election, while incumbent Daniel Kelly did better in the southern suburbs.

Karofsky, with 47,432 votes, was the top Milwaukee County finisher in the Feb. 18 primary. Incumbent Daniel Kelly finished second, with 44,088 votes, and Ed Fallone finished third, with 25,963 votes. Statewide, Kelly finished first with 352,855 votes, Karofsky got 261,723, and Fallone received 89,181.

Karofsky and Kelly will compete in the April 7 general election.

State Supreme Court Results

State Supreme Court Results

In Milwaukee County Karofsky won in Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, Milwaukee, St. Francis, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay. Kelly won in Cudahy, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, River Hills, South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, West Allis, and West Milwaukee.

Karofsky, a Dane County circuit judge, and Fallone, a Marquette University law professor, are considered more liberal than Kelly, who was appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker and is a member of the conservative Federalist Society.

Kelly won in some communities because Karofsky and Fallone split the more liberal vote. All other things being equal, if Fallone voters back Karofsky in the general election, she will pick up Cudahy, River Hills, South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and West Milwaukee, all of which went for Kelly in the primary. She also would pick up an additional 96 wards in the city of Milwaukee.

Statewide, Karofsky would need to pick up all of Fallone’s votes, plus 1,952 more to unseat Kelly.

Milwaukee County primary voter turnout was highest in Shorewood, at 34 percent, and lowest in West Milwaukee, at 18 percent.

Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.

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