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Legislative Update

August 9 primary recap; looking ahead to Nov. 8 general election

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Election, Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

Results of the August 9 primary election are in. Voters approved each of the three school referendums that were on the August 9 ballot. 

In the Independence School District, voters approved a non-recurring referendum to exceed the revenue limit by $900,000 for the each of the next three school years. In the Monticello School District, voters approved exceeding the revenue limit on a recurring basis by $820,000 in the 2022-23 school year and also approved a separate non-recurring referendum question to allow the district to exceed the revenue limits by $280,000 in each of the next four school years.

There will be a robust number of school district referenda on the Nov. 8 ballot. The DPI webpage that tracks the scheduling of school district referenda already lists 32 ballot questions, and the total has been growing almost daily. Boards are reminded that August 30 is the deadline for submitting a referendum resolution to the filing officer responsible for printing ballots for the Nov. 8 election.

The following current or former school board members will be on the Nov. 8 general election ballot in the following legislative seats ((I) = Incumbent):

Assembly District Candidate Name School Board Party Affiliation
1st Joel Kitchens (I) Sturgeon Bay (former) GOP
20th Christine Sinicki (I) Milwaukee (MPS) (former) Dem
28th Patty Schachtner Somerset (former) Dem
29th Clint Moses (I) Menomonie Area (former) GOP
33rd Scott Johnson Fort Atkinson (former) GOP
33rd Don Vruwink (I) Milton (former) Dem
46th Andrew McKinney Monona Grove (current) GOP
55th Stefanie Holt Neenah (former) Dem
62nd Robert Wittke (I) Racine Unified (former) GOP
73rd Laura Gapske Superior (current) Dem
84th Lu Ann Bird Whitnall (former) Dem
90th Kristina Shelton (I) Green Bay (former) Dem
93rd Alison Page River Falls (former) Dem
Senate District Candidate Name School Board Party Affiliation
27th Dianne Hesselbein Middleton-Cross Plains Area (former) Dem
29th Cory Tomczyk Mosinee (former) GOP
31st David Estenson Whitehall (current) GOP


One of the more interesting races will be the one in the 33rd Assembly District race, that will pit two former school board members against each other. One of those is Democrat Don Vruwink, an incumbent state representative and former member of the Milton School Board, where he taught and coached for many years before becoming a school board member. Rather than move into the redrawn 43rd Assembly District that he’s represented since 2017, Vruwink decided to run for the new 33rd AD that includes his longtime home in Milton. 

Vruwink, a member of the Assembly Education Committee, will face Republican candidate Scott Johnson, who spent 15 years on the Fort Atkinson Board of Education, and whose campaign finance reports indicate he didn’t raise or spend anything to win his contested GOP primary race in a surprise victory over Jefferson mayor Dale Oppermann.  This is Johnson’s second run for the state Assembly, having lost to the eventual winner and current state Rep, Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago) in the GOP primary in 2014.  As a school board member, Johnson was known for organizing regular monthly events where he invited school board members and lawmakers to come together to discuss shared issues and exchange ideas.

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