Monday, October 24th, 2016

Careful Ann! Watch out for those bookmarks!


It’s the classic battle between tax cuts and paper cuts in the City of Waukesha mayoral race. In an unsurprising result with all the suspense of a knock-knock joke, State Representative Ann Nischke and Waukesha Alderman Larry Nelson advance to the general election.

If the voters ever speak collectively, this time the voters have asked for a clear choice between two candidates. Nischke is a Republican legislator, pro-life, and a sponsor of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (and it’s current version the Taxpayer Protection Act). Alderman Larry Nelson sits on the board of the Waukesha Library, likes buses, supported the transit center, and hands out bookmarks telling us all how to get along. Nischke is a veteran of the partisan politics in Madison. Ironically, it was the Democratic Party in Waukesha that introduced partisan politics into this race when they endorsed Nelson.

Looking at the numbers, for a race that provided an array of choices of center-right candidates, Nischke’s first place finish with 32% of the vote is pretty impressive. Of the center-right candidates, she got an even more impressive 46% of the vote.

Despite being the only candidate of the political left in the race, Nelson has to be disappointed with his 29% share of the vote. Given the appeal and positions of the five candidates that were knocked out, Nelson’s only hope in the general campaign is to find new voters to turn out in force.

If there was any surprise of the night, it was how far Alderman Jim Connors sank (3%, last place) despite his attempt to close the fundraising gap. A lesson of too little, too late.

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