Contact: Rep. Greta Neubauer, (608) 237-9166
Court rules Gov. Walker must hold Special Elections for Open Seats in 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District
MADISON – Today, Representative Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) attended a hearing in Dane County Circuit Court in support of the people of the 1st Senate District and the 42nd Assembly District, who were left without representation in this week’s Special Session on school safety when Governor Walker failed to call special elections to fill open legislative seats.
The 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District were left unrepresented after two Republican lawmakers stepped down to join his administration last December. After Democratic victories for Rep. Neubauer and Senator Patty Schachtner in the January special elections, Governor Walker has refused to follow state law and call special elections in the remaining unrepresented districts.
Rep. Neubauer submitted an affidavit in support of the plaintiffs, highlighting the importance of special elections, which ensure that Wisconsinites are represented in the legislature when seats become vacant in-between regularly scheduled elections.
Today, in a victory for the unrepresented voters of the 1st Senate District and the 42nd Assembly District, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Josann Reynolds (a 2014 Walker appointee) ruled that Governor Walker must hold special elections so the voters may have representation in the legislature, and that a failure to hold special elections constitutes an infringement on the voting rights of district residents.
Rep. Neubauer stated, “This morning, I left the courthouse after hearing Judge Reynolds order Scott Walker to call special elections in vacant Wisconsin Senate and Assembly seats. This is an important win for Democracy. Scott Walker doesn’t feel that special elections are necessary, even though constituents would go unrepresented for an entire year.
“The people of Wisconsin deserve representation. I submitted an affidavit demonstrating all of the work legislators do throughout the year, both in the Capitol and in our home districts. To do our job well as legislators, we spend our time out of session meeting with the people in our districts, building relationships, and digging into complex policy issues. Without elected representatives, constituents’ voices go unheard and their problems go unaddressed in the legislature.
The Governor should not be acting out of political motives when Wisconsinites’ fundamental right to representation is at stake. We deserve better,” Rep. Neubauer concluded.