By Felicity Bosk
SUPERIOR WISC– Voter turnout was 30 percent in Douglas County on August 9 when many thought turnout would be around half that. In 2014, the turnout for the county primary was 18 percent,
For State Senate, Russ Feingold found a landslide victory against his opponent Scott Harbach. Feingold also received almost 3000 more votes total than incumbent republican Ron Johnson, who he will be running against for the upcoming November general election.
Kara Schmidt, who was president of the Student Government during the 2015-2016 school year, ran for Register of Deeds in Douglas County but lost to Tracy Middelton. “Voter turnout was twice what we were expecting, and I’m really proud of that,” said Schmidt after the results came in. “I hope in the future Douglas County will be ready for younger people in politics.”
Dan Blank lost his reelection bid to Mark Fruehauf. Blank had been District Attorney of Douglas County since 1991, a job his wife called in a letter to the editor “inherently controversial.”
Fruehauf held a primary election night celebration at The Shack. “I want to give back to the community. I want to be in public service because it’s the best way I know how to give back to the community who made me into who I am today,” said Fruehauf. “I’ve taught criminal justice at UWS for the past three years… The DA’s office plays an important role in the lives of students because it plays an important role in the community they live in. It is of major consequence to any student who is accused of or the victim of a crime.” Freuhauf said he is hopeful; on his facebook page after the election results came in he said “a new era in criminal justice begins now.”
Voter turnout has been steadily rising for the past several years in Douglas County. UWS sociology major David Urling said he voted Tuesday because he feels it is his civic duty. “It is important for everyone to vote, including young people.” He also noted he voted for Schmidt, who he worked with on SGA. “I’ve seen her leadership skills, and was excited to vote for her.”
The general election will be on November 6, 2016.