Today, there is a special Republican primary election in Wisconsin State Assembly District #99 in Waukesha County, in the western suburbs of Milwaukee. This vacancy was created when GOP Assemblyman Chris Kapenga won a special election for State Senate in July.
Wisconsin does not use runoffs, and no Democrats filed to run, so today’s winner will be the next representative for this district. The current composition of the Wisconsin State Assembly is 62 Republicans and 36 Democrats. Here are the four candidates, in alphabetical order, and the home city from their mailing address:
- Cindi Duchow, Pewaukee, WI
- Scott Owens, Dousman, WI
- Dave Westlake, Hartland, WI
- Spencer Zimmerman, Delafield, WI
Here are the amounts from each candidate’s Pre-Primary Campaign Finance report:
Also, I analyzed the geographic distribution of Republican primary votes in the recent special election held just a few months ago in Wisconsin Senate District #33 (won by Mr. Kapenga):
As I’ve done previously with special elections in Georgia (HD#24, HD#48, HD#80, HD#155) and South Carolina (HD#106), I noted the address of each campaign contributor. I excluded multiple donations from the same address, as well as contributions from businesses, political action committees, and those with a post office box address. As I have noted previously, local campaigns, such as state legislative special elections, require extensive personal appeals from committed followers to drive voter turnout. My methodology attempts to identify those geographic locations where a candidate has passionate and dedicated supporters who can urge their friends, neighbors, and co-workers to get out and vote for them.
I used GIS software to display Wisconsin AD #99 and its’ ward boundaries, along with the locations of each unique campaign contributor:
(If you want to see this map in a larger window, you can view it here.)
Here are my thoughts:
In the north sections, (north of Wisconsin highway 16), Dave Westlake had a near-monopoly on local campaign contributions from within, or just outside, the district with 12 (Scott Owens had 2). This includes both the town and village of Merton, as well as the village of Hartland, Mr. Westlake’s home area. Almost one-third of today’s primary votes are likely to come from this region, and I would expect Mr. Westlake to do very well here.
The central part of the district along I-94 includes both the town of Delafield to the east and the city of Delafield to the west. All but two of Cindi Duchow’s 13 in-district donations were from the town of Delafield, her home area, which is where the most votes are likely to be cast. However, she will need a huge turnout from here, since she had few contributions from other sections of the district. Scott Zimmerman didn’t have any campaign donations from with AD #99, but the city of Delafield is his home area.
Most of the contributions to Scott Owens’ campaign came from the southeastern part of the district, which includes the town of Genesee (his home area) and the village of Wales. Based on the data from June, however, there are likely to be fewer votes cast here than in Delafield.
Finally, none of the four candidates received campaign contributions from addresses in the southwestern part of the district, which is less populated and includes the town of Ottawa and some other villages.
If this methodology accurately estimates the location of each candidate’s geographic support within the district, then Mr. Westlake should be victorious in tonight’s AD #99 primary. He had the most in-district contributions, and they were from those regions from which the most Republican votes are likely to be cast. I expect Ms. Duchow to win in the central region, but I don’t think that her margins there will be large enough to overcome Mr. Westlake’s margins in the north.