MADISON – In addition to Justice-elect Jill Karofsky’s stunning double-digit win yesterday, dozens of pro-conservation local candidates claimed victory, winning seats on county boards, school boards, and city councils across the state.
“We’re proud that 37 of our 46 endorsed local candidates won their seats in races across the state,” said Executive Director Kerry Schumann. “Communities like Brown and Marinette Counties, the city and school board of Green Bay, Lafayette and Eau Claire Counties, and more are well-situated to protect their community members from unsafe water and to work towards clean, renewable energy.”
The night’s stand out victory came when now Justice-elect Jill Karofsky upset incumbent Dan Kelly by double digits. Kelly was a Walker-appointee with a record of defending corporate interests and letting polluters off the hook.
“Last night’s victories include an exceptional array of candidates in local races,” Organizing and Political Director Seth Hoffmeister said. “With leadership at the federal level nonexistent and a state legislature dominated by gerrymandering and special interests, local candidates are becoming the true leaders of Wisconsin’s conservation movement. They are the frontline protectors of our natural resources and health. We congratulate them all, and look forward to working with them.”
Despite these successes, Wisconsin voters should not have had to choose between their health and casting their vote. Voters cast a record number of absentee ballots, braved a global pandemic, and rolled with the mountains of shifting resources and information thrown at them by inconsistent court rulings in the days leading up to Election Day.
“We are amazed and inspired by the voters who took the extra steps to get, and send in, absentee ballots or even show up on Election Day – despite the pandemic and despite attempts led by Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald to silence their vote. Clearly people want to be heard,” Schumann said.
In response to the unprecedented assault on Wisconsin’s democracy and its voting public, Wisconsin Conservation Voters is launching a new campaign called “Democracy for All.”
Last week, the campaign released an eight-step plan to make voting more accessible, safe, and equitable for all Wisconsinites. Read that release here.
“In the weeks to come, Wisconsin Conservation Voters and its 40,000-strong membership, network of organizers and volunteers, and coalition of allied organizations will mobilize our collective resources to ensure the affront to democracy that happened last week never happens again,” Schumann said.