Gretchen Schuldt
Court Watch

80% of State’s Judicial Races Uncontested

39 of 49 judges in state’s circuit and appellate courts face no opposition.

By , Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Feb 20th, 2022 12:24 pm
Milwaukee County Courthouse

Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Jeramey Jannene

There was just one primary election in state judicial contests Tuesday, with a winnowing of the field from three candidates to two in the race for the Kewaunee County Circuit Court bench.

Jeffrey R. Wisnicky and Kimberly A. Hardtke advanced to the April 5 general election, while John Peterson got knocked out of the running.

There will be, as has become tradition for lower courts, few contested seats in the general election – just 10, including the one in Kewaunee County. There are 39 uncontested judicial races for circuit and appellate courts, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC).

The nine other competitive races and candidates are listed below. (In Fond du Lac County, the Branch 5 circuit court seat is listed as having two candidates, incumbent Paul G. Czisny and Douglas R. Edelstein, but Czisny has filed a notification of noncandidacy, according to the WEC.)

District 2 Court of Appeals – Maria S. Lazar and Lori Kornblum (inc.)

Iowa County Circuit Court – Matt Allen and Rhonda R. Hazen. Incumbent Margaret M. Koehler is not seeking re-election.

Marathon County Circuit Court Branch 2 – Rick Cveykus and William A. Harris. Incumbent Gregory Huber is not seeking re-election.

Oconto County Circuit Court Branch 2 – Ed Burke and Jay Conley (inc.)

Portage County Circuit Court Branch 2Louis John Molepske, Jr. and Stephen W. Sawyer. Incumbent Robert J. Shannon is not seeking re-election.

Sauk County Circuit Court Branch 1 – Michael Screnock (inc.) and Blake J. Duren.

Vilas County Circuit Court Branch 2 – Meg Colleen O’Marro and Daniel Overbey. The seat is vacant.

​Winnebago Circuit Court Branch 3 Lisa Krueger and Brian D. Keberlein. Incumbent Barbara Hart Key did not seek re-election.

Winnebago Circuit Court Branch 4 – Mike Gibbs and LaKeisha D. Haase (inc.)


Besides Edelstein in Fond du Lac County, there are 38 judicial candidates waltzing into office without an opponent (barring write-ins). They are listed below:

District 3 Court of Appeals – Thomas M. Hruz (inc.)

District 4 Court of Appeals – Brian Blanchard (inc.)

Adams County Circuit Court Branch 2 – Tania M. Bonnett. The seat is vacant.

Barron County Circuit Court Branch 1 – James C. Babler (inc.)

Crawford County Circuit Court – Lynn Marie Rider (inc.)

Dane County Circuit Court Branch 3 Diane Schlipper. Incumbent Valerie Bailey-Rihn is not seeking re-election.

Dane County Circuit Court Branch 4 Everett D. Mitchell (inc.)

Dane County Circuit Court Branch 5 Nicholas J. McNamara (inc.)

Dane County Circuit Court Branch 14 John D. Hyland (inc.)

Dane County Circuit Court Branch 15 Stephen Ehlke (inc.)

Eau Claire County Circuit Court Branch 1 John Francis Manydeeds (inc.)

Eau Claire County Circuit Court Branch 6 – Beverly Wickstrom. The seat is vacant.

Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Branch 2 Laura Lavey. Incumbent Peter L. Grimm is not seeking re-election.

Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Branch 4 Tricia L. Walker (inc.)

Lincoln County Circuit Court Branch 1 Galen Bayne-Allison. Incumbent Jay R. Tlusty is not seeking re-election.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 5 Kristela L. Cervera (inc.)

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 14 Christopher R. Foley (inc.)

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 25 Nidhi Kashyap. Incumbent Stephanie Rothstein is not seeking re-election.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 31 Hannah C. Dugan (inc.)

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 34  Glenn H. Yamahiro (inc.)

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 44 Gwendolyn G. Connolly (inc.)

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 45 Jean Marie Kies (inc.)

Monroe County Circuit Court Branch 2 Mark L. Goodman (inc.)

Outagamie County Circuit Court Branch 4 Yadira J. Rein (inc.)

Outagamie County Circuit Court Branch 7 Mark G. Schroeder (inc.)

Pierce County Circuit Court Elizabeth Rohl (inc.)

Portage County Circuit Court Branch 3 Trish Baker (inc.)

Racine County Circuit Court Branch 2 Eugene A. Gasiorkiewicz (inc.)

Racine County Circuit Court Branch 4 Mark F. Nielsen (inc.)

Racine County Circuit Court Branch 5 Kristin M. Cafferty (inc.)

Rusk County Circuit Court Annette Barna. Incumbent Steven P. Anderson is not seeking re-election.

St. Croix County Circuit Court Branch 4 R. Michael Waterman (inc.)

Sauk County Circuit Court Branch 2 Wendy J.N. Klicko (inc.)

Vilas County Circuit Court Branch 1 Martha J. Milanowski (inc.)

Walworth County Circuit Court Branch 2 Daniel Johnson (inc.)

Walworth County Circuit Court Branch 4 David M. Reddy (inc.)

Waushura County Circuit Court Branch 2 Scott C. Blader. The seat is vacant.

Winnebago County Circuit Court Branch 5 John A. Jorgensen (inc.)

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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