The longer, warmer days are much needed relief after what seemed like an unusually long and cold winter. Meanwhile, the legislative session has adjourned with the focus now on the 2022 elections. The primary election is set for Aug. 9 and the general election for Nov. 8.
Every 10 years, states are required to adjust state and federal legislative districts to reflect changes in the population. Some areas experience growth, while others see population declines, and those changes must be considered in state and federal redistricting.
According to the 2020 census, Wisconsin’s population grew from 5,686,986 to 5,893,718 — a 3.6% increase. Based on the 2020 data, state Assembly districts will have roughly 60,000 people, Senate districts will have 178,000 and congressional districts will have 736,000.
The Legislature passed a redistricting bill reflecting the population shifts identified by the census, however, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the new maps. Because they were not approved, they will be drawn by the courts prior to the April 15 deadline.
In the meantime, every legislative cycle has its share of retirees and candidates running for office. Thus far, the list is fairly significant and likely to grow:
• Sen. Kathy Bernier (R) – Retiring
• Sen. Janet Bewley (D) – Retiring
• Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) – Retiring
• Sen. Roger Roth (R) – Running for Lieutenant Governor
• Rep. Beth Meyers (D) – Retiring
• Rep. David Bowen (D) – Running for Lieutenant Governor
• Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D) – Running for State Senate
• Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R) – Running for Secretary of State
• Rep. Tim Ramthun (R) – Running for Governor
• Rep. Sara Rodriguez (D) – Running for Lieutenant Governor
• Rep. Gary Tauchen (R) – Retiring
• Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R) – Retiring
The marquee races this year are for governor and U.S. Senate. Gov. Evers was elected four years ago and will face reelection for the first time with a growing list of possible Republican challengers set to square off in the primary.
Announced Candidates for Governor:
• Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R)
• Former U.S. Senate Candidate Kevin Nicholson (R)
• State Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R)
Announced Candidates for U.S. Senate:
After saying he would only serve two terms, Sen. Ron Johnson decided to run for a third term. Johnson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. He will face one of the following Democrats after the Aug. 9 primary.
• Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D)
• State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski (D)
• Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D)
• Dr. Gillian Battino (D), Radiologist
• Alex Lasry (D), Milwaukee Bucks Executive
• Adam Murphy (D), Software Developer
• Steven Olikara (D), Founder of Millennial Action Project
• Peter Peckarsky (D), Milwaukee Attorney
• Dr. Darrell Williams (D), Division of Emergency Management Administrator
All 99 seats in the state Assembly and the odd-numbered seats of the state Senate are up this fall. In addition, all constitutional officers face reelection, including the attorney general. We will keep you posted on the new maps and the important races in your area as we get closer to November. Until then, enjoy the spring weather and long days of summer before we return our focus to the 2022 elections.