Dane Co. DA Blanchard wins court of appeals race - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dane Co. DA Blanchard wins court of appeals race


By Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- The race for district court of appeals appears to be decided.

The Associated Press declared Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard the winner, defeating Edward Leineweber.

To see the interview with Blanchard, click on the camera icon in the upper left-hand corner.


MADISON (WKOW) - One head-to-head race is getting attention across much of the state

The fourth district of the court of appeals covers a large swath of southwestern Wisconsin, and features Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard versus Richland County Judge Ed Leineweber.

Leineweber was elected circuit judge in Richland County in 1997 and re-elected twice since then. He was also city attorney for Richland Center and served three terms as Richland County District Attorney before that.

He went to college at Notre Dame and got a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. He's 61, married, and has two kids. During a debate in early March he spoke often of his experience as a judge.

"For the past 13 years I've been sitting in a court of general jurisdiction in a one-judge county, handling that same range of issues on a daily basis."

Blanchard is the district attorney in Dane County, first elected in 2000. Before that he was an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, and also worked for a large law firm here in Madison.

He's never been a judge but he once clerked for the seventh appellate. He went to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor for college and then Northwestern Law School.

Between those degrees he was a reporter for the Miami Herald. He's 51 and married with three children.

At the debate he downplayed his lack of experience as a judge.

"I think appellate courts also should have judges who have more perspective in terms of what a record means, from the point of view of an advocate over the years," he said.

Leineweber has tried to frame this race in terms of geography, suggesting that the fourth district needs more voices from outside Dane. Blanchard has said it doesn't matter where judges come from, what's more important is that they are impartial.

Whoever wins will serve a six-year term beginning Aug. 1.

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