MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker’s name was not on Tuesday’s local election ballots.
But those who lost county executive races in the state’s two largest counties said the political turmoil caused by Walker’s policies played big roles in their defeats.
Philanthropist Chris Abele got 61 percent of the vote to win the final year of Walker’s unexpired term as Milwaukee County Executive. He defeated State Assembly Republican Jeff Stone, who said his loss, “reflects the divide we have in Wisconsin right now.”
In the Madison area, State Assembly Democrat Joe Parisi easily won the Dane County executive’s race with 70 percent of the vote over county Supervisor Eileen Bruskewitz – who knew she would lose big once she saw the huge voter turnout in Madison.
It was 70 percent – unheard of in a spring election. And observers said it was fueled by union anger over the Republican Walker’s efforts to strip public union bargaining powers.
Stone voted in favor of that legislation, and Abele used it against him. But now, he vows to stress cooperation, and work with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to tackle problems head-on in the state’s largest county.
Parisi said job creation would be his top priority as he replaces retiring Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.