Starting with the race most relevant to the South Side, JoCasta Zamarripa defeated former Alderman Angel Sanchez 53% to 31% for the 8th Assembly District seat. This sets up Zamarripa to face Independent challenger Ramona Rivas in the general election. After her victory, Zamarripa sent out a press release thanking voters for their participation in a race she dubbed a "historic victory". We're not exactly sure why it was historic, but we certainly understand her enthusiasm.
In the Gubernatorial primaries, Democrat Tom Barrett beat challenger Tim John overwhelmingly with 90% of the vote. Republican Scott Walker defeated Mark Neumann, a headstrong opponent who inundated the airwaves with no less than $4 million in commercials, showing he had tremendous ground support across the state. Walker earned 59% of the vote to Neumann's 39%, meaning that Walker will meet Tom Barrett in November's general election.
For Lt. Governor, Republican Rebbecca Kleefisch, a former watchdog reporter, defeated Brett Davis who ran commercials mocking the role of Lt. Governor. Kleefisch, who made Christianity a cornerstone of her race, will likely collaborate with Walker in some fashion for the general election. Expect commercials that attack Kleefisch's religiosity.
In the Democrat primary for Milwaukee County Sheriff, incumbent David Clarke beat Chris Moews 53% to 47%. Moews touted his status as the "real Democrat" in the race up until watchdog reporter Dan Bice discovered that Moews voted for George W. Bush's second term. Clarke's victory was a relief to conservative and moderate voters who participated in the Republican primary rendering themselves ineligible to cast ballots for Clarke in the Democrat primary. Clarke is favored to beat Republican challenger Steven Duckhorn, a Milwaukee police officer, in the general election.
And finally, Milwaukee County Supervisor Chris Larson defeated incumbent Senator Jeff Plale 61% to 39%. This is a blow to the more conservative parts of 7th Senate District like Oak Creek and South Milwaukee. Chris Larson, who has a criminal record of shoplifting a few years back, ran a largely negative campaign against Plale. Larson also co-sponsored a domestic partner measure that was ultimately vetoed by County Executive Scott Walker. Larson must still beat Republican newcomer Jess Rip in the general election.
In sum, both conservatives and liberals can claim a victory on Tuesday. On the conservative side, Scott Walker, Rebbecca Kleefisch, and David Clarke won in their primaries, all of which are favored to win in the general election.
On the liberal side, Zamarripa and Larson handily won their primaries suggesting a push farther to the left by establishment Democrats on issues of School Choice, abortion, and gay marriage. Although Zamarripa's race in the general is expected to be a "walker-over", Larson will have to face newcomer Republican Jess Rip, which may be a problem. With the right funding and endorsements, Rip could be a major obstacle for Larson in the final stretches of the race.