Judicial Elections

Nasty Race for Wisconsin Supreme Court Ends With Upset

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An expensive, bitter supreme court race in Wisconsin ended Tuesday with the first unseating of a justice since 1967, when Chief Justice George Currie was ousted after he allowed the Milwaukee Braves to relocate to Atlanta.

Burnett County Circuit Judge Michael Gableman succeeded in his bid for the high court, upsetting Justice Louis Butler, the first African-American to serve on the high court.

A story in the Capital Times notes that Butler’s election is expected to shift the court to the right and is seen as a victory for big business, which spent some $2 million on the campaign.

Butler spoke against the influence of outside groups in his concession speech and decried the negative TV ads that labeled him “Loophole Louis.”

Butler decried the influence of outside groups that outspent the two candidates and were responsible for many of the most negative TV ads.

“I’ve said it throughout the race: This system is broken. Third-party issue groups who don’t have to be accountable, don’t have to follow campaign laws and don’t have to disclose their donors siphoned huge amounts of money into this race,” Butler said in prepared remarks.

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