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4 state Assembly incumbents lose on Election Night


RICE LAKE, WI (WTAQ) - Four state Assembly incumbents went down to defeat – including the one who got in trouble for a comment he made about teenage rape.

Rice Lake Republican Roger Rivard lost his bid for a second term in a close contest. Democrat Stephen Smith got 51 percent, with a margin of 582 votes out of 27,000 cast.

Rivard was commenting on a high school rape case last December when he said his father warned him that “some girls rape easy” – meaning that they claim consensual sex as rape later. Rivard said he was misquoted, but he lost some key endorsements from top Republicans – along with financial support from a statewide committee. 

In Janesville, first-term Assembly Republican Joe Knilans only got 38 percent of the vote in losing to Democrat Debra Kolste.

Whitewater Republican Evan Wynn and Kenosha County Democrat John Steinbrink lost, after they were pitted against other incumbents due to redistricting.

Meanwhile, Assembly Chris Kapenga of Delafield won twice Tuesday. He was re-elected to his Assembly seat. And he won a Republican primary for a Senate seat that became vacant when Republican Rich Zipperer joined the Walker administration.

Kapenga will move to the Senate, since there’s no Democratic challenger for his general election.

The lawmaker he beat in the primary, Paul Farrow of Pewaukee, will stay in the Legislature after being re-elected to his Assembly post.