Judge Janet Protasiewicz easily won Tuesday’s primary, getting about 445,00 votes. Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly edged out Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow by getting just over 232,000 votes to her nearly 210,000 votes.
Kelly immediately framed the race for the court as a choice between his views on the rule of law, and Protasiewicz’s view of what she wants the law to be.
“She said that in most cases there won’t be a thumb on the scale, as if that was meant to reassure us,” Kelly told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber Wednesday morning. “You’re not supposed to have your thumb on the scale ever. And if you do it even once, it disqualifies you from any office of trust within the judiciary.”
Protasiewicz is framing the race as a choice between Kelly’s pro-life stance and her pro-abortion stance.
“I’ll be running against someone who doesn’t think women get to make their own reproductive rights. I will guarantee you that my opponent, if elected, will uphold the 1849 near-total abortion ban. I can guarantee you that,” Protasiewicz said Tuesday night.
Kelly’s victory came after a contentious campaign against Dorow, who became instantly famous for overseeing the Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre trial.
Dorow took to Twitter Tuesday night to pledge her support to Kelly.
“To all my supporters, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I ask that you join me in supporting Dan Kelly in the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Wisconsin needs a Supreme Court justice who will protect our constitutional rights and not legislate from the bench,” she said in a tweet.
“I appreciate Judge Dorow’s graciousness. She was just incredibly generous last night in the conversation we had, and with her pledge of support to our efforts to win in April, and her commitment of supporting us,” Kelly said Wednesday.
Wisconsin’s race for Supreme Court is the most expensive and most watched in the country. A number of reports say the race has already seen more than $7 million in ads, mostly from outside groups. By the time Election Day comes in April, experts say Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race could be the most expensive in U.S. History, Currently that crown is held by Illinois’ 2004 race for the Supreme Court which cost over $15 million.
Kelly and Protasiewicz will face voters again in April.