Politics will be very interesting in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, for the next four weeks, as it appears there will be a very competitive Republican primary in the western suburbs of Milwaukee for a vacant State Senate seat.
The Wisconsin State Senate is in GOP hands, 19-14, and that isn’t likely to change once Republican Paul Farrow resigns in July to assume his new role as Waukesha County Executive, a position he was elected to in April. The filing period closed yesterday for the Special Election to replace Farrow, which will be held on July 21st.
There are three Republican candidates whose nomination paperwork has been approved:
1) Assemblyman Chris Kapenga represents one of the three lower-house districts which comprise SD #33. He was first elected to the State House in 2010, and challenged Farrow for this seat in the Republican primary in 2012 and lost. He won re-election to his Assembly seat in 2012 and 2014. Obviously, he has significant name recognition in his district, which makes up much of the western half of the Senate district.
2) Brian Dorow is a former Waukesha police officer who now helps train prospective law enforcement officers and is also dean of Waukesha County Technical College. Dorow ran against, and lost to, Kapenga in the Republican primary in 2010 for Kapenga’s State Assembly seat. He has already collected quite a few endorsements from prominent Republicans in the area, including that of former Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow, who represented this area in both the State Senate and State Assembly from 1986-2001. She is also the mother of the current officeholder, Paul Farrow.
3) M.D. Langner is a physician who describes himself as a moderate Republican. In such a short campaign, his lack of initial name recognition makes him a long-shot at best, but he definitely could impact the race by taking votes which would have gone to either Dorow or Kapenga.
This will be a very interesting race to watch. The Republican primary is June 23rd.