Supreme Court race at forefront of spring elections - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Supreme Court race at forefront of spring elections


MADISON (WKOW) -- It is typically a non-partisan race, but this April, the State Supreme Court race has turned into a national fight for union rights.

Pro-labor organizations and tea party groups are pouring money into Tuesday's election between incumbent Justice David Prosser and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

The race now seems centered on Governor Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining bill.

Experts say this has become somewhat of a test of strength for Democrats and unions.

Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, says, "If they unseat Justice Prosser, that will be a major political message. The reverse is true as well: if they fail to unseat him, then it's a good message to Republicans that they can weather this political storm."

Right now, conservative organizations are outspending liberal groups by about 20-percent. The election is on pace to be the state's most expensive high court race.

Candidate and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg made a stop in Madison Sunday evening for a rally at the Edgewater Hotel.

She says, "From the start of this campaign, I said I was running to restore people's confidence in the independence and impartiality of the court. My opponent through his conduct, campaign and words has indicated he sees himself as having a partisan approach to making a decision in the court."

Incumbent justice David Prosser made a stop in Wausau at 27 News' sister station, WAOW. He says he hopes voters will look past the ads to focus on his merits. Prosser said he'll remain fair and balanced when deciding a court case.

Justice Prosser says, "I've known a lot of people... the Governor is in one branch of government, I'm in another. He does his thing, I do my thing."

Prosser has served on the Supreme Court for the past twelve years.

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