Neylon wins squeaker in the 98th Assembly
State Representative Bill Kramer has a new title for one of his aides, colleague. Adam Neylon won a close special Republican primary election in the 98th Assembly district Tuesday nights, defeating Pewaukee Police Chief Ed Baumann by 30 votes. Embattled Jeanne Tarantino, a former staff member of Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch came in a distant third. Since the Democratic candidate decided to lam it instead of running a campaign, the winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary is most likely the next Assemblyman for the 98th.
While 30 votes may seem like a small margin, in a small special election that margin would be difficult to overcome in a recount, even in Waukesha County.
Baumann’s long ties to the community were an important factor in his strong showing, but political insiders told me that Neylon was a strong campaigner door-to-door. In addition, Neylon’s radio advertising may have been enough to give him the edge in the race.
Tarantino’s campaign was plagued with questions about her statements in a divorce proceeding regarding her transfer from Kleefisch’s office. She was also questioned about her past experience working for Democrats and moderate Republicans. Her campaign was disinclined to respond to either, and those questions probably hurt her campaign. The discovery that one of her campaign aides was driving drunk on the way to pick up the candidate’s daughter added to the perception that the campaign was self-destructing.
Tarantino issued a statement on Facebook thanking her supporters.
The other two candidates made respectable appearances at a recent candidate forum but were unable to overcome the experience of the other three candidates.
The Waukesha County Clerk’s office gave these unofficial results Tuesday night: