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Jill Underly wins race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction; GOP holds legislative seats

Jill Underly wins race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction; GOP holds legislative seats

Jill Underly, District Administrator from the Pecatonica Area School District, will be the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction after garnering nearly 58% of the vote. Underly defeated Deb Kerr, former District Administrator from the Brown Deer School District.

In special elections for vacant state legislative seats, state Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown) won the 13th Senate District seat vacated by Congressman Scott Fitzgerald and GOP candidate Elijah Behnke won the 89th Assembly District seat resigned by former Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette).

Spring ballot features 70 local school district referendum questions

In addition to the race for State Superintendent and races for local school board seats on the April 6 ballot, there will be 70 important school district referenda on the ballot as well.   

The April 6 Spring Election marks the final time school districts can place a referendum before district voters during calendar 2021.  The next opportunity won’t come again until the Spring Primary in February 2022.

The 70 ballot questions on this year’s Spring ballot compares with 57 school referenda in April 2020 and 51 school referenda on last November’s ballot.

Here is a rundown of school district referenda on the Spring Election ballot:


New faces in the 2021-22 Legislature-State Senate

There will be eight new Senators when the 2021-22 Legislative Session convenes in January.  Seven newcomers will be filling vacant seats, while one newcomer defeated a sitting incumbent.

In Northwestern Wisconsin, State Rep. Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond) defeated incumbent Sen. Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset), a former Somerset School Board member, to capture the 10th Senate District and flipping it from Democrat to Republican, in one of two GOP takeaways.


Senate Republicans select new leadership team

Senate Republicans, who hold a 21-12 numerical advantage over Democrats in the state Senate, met in caucus today (11/5) to select their leaders for the 2021-22 legislative session. that begins in January.

From …
“– Senate Republicans today selected Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, to be the next majority leader and tapped Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, for Senate president. (more…)

Strong support for school referendums continues

Voters on Tuesday (Nov. 3) continued the strong overall support for local school referendums seen in recent elections.  According to unofficial results filed with the DPI, voters have approved 43 of the 51 school referendums (84.3 percent) on the ballot. 

Fifteen of 19 requests to exceed state-imposed revenue limits on a non-recurring (i.e., temporary or time-limited) basis were approved, a 79 percent passage rate.  Nine of ten requests to exceed state-imposed revenue limits on a recurring (i.e., permanent) basis were approved, a 90 percent passage rate. 

Seventeen of 20 borrowing referendums (85 percent) were approved, including a $317 million facilities improvement request in Madison and a similar $107 million ask in Oshkosh, among others.  A $155 million ask was turned back by voters in Wausau.

Here is a complete listing based on results reported to the DPI and reported by news media: (more…)

New faces in the 2021-22 Legislature–State Assembly

Sixteen newcomers will be among the members of the state Assembly in January.

Six new Republican representatives who will take office in January: Clint Moses, a Menomonie School Board member, replaces Sen.-elect Rob Stafsholt in the 29th Assembly District in northwestern Wisconsin; Calvin Callahan of Tomahawk takes over the Northwoods 35th Assembly District seat of now Sen.-elect Mary Felzkowski; Alex Dallman of Green Lake will represent the 41st Assembly District seat vacated by Sen.-elect Joan Ballweg; Rachael Cabral-Guevara replaces retiring 55th Assembly District Rep. Mike Rohrkaste of Neenah; Donna Rozar follows the retiring Rep. Bob Kulp in the 69th Assembly District in in central Wisconsin; and Dave Armstrong follows retiring Rep. Romaine Quinn in the 75th Assembly District in far northwestern Wisconsin.