Election Could Change State Senate Control

Republicans would win back control of the Wisconsin Senate on Tuesday if the party keeps all of its current seats, and wins a seat in the far north where Democrat Jim Holperin is retiring. Assembly Republican Tom Tiffany is the better-known candidate, as he runs against Democrat Susan Sommer. And according to the Madison Capital Times, even some Democratic observers expect Tiffany to win and the G-O-P to regain a 17-16 majority. But Republicans could get even more power if they win another seat – and because of that, both parties are zeroing in on a race in the Oshkosh-Fond du Lac area. Democrat Jessica King of Oshkosh is trying to keep the job she won 15 months ago, when voters recalled Republican Randy Hopper. Fond du Lac Alderman Rick Gudex is the G-O-P hopeful for that seat. If he loses, Republicans could have only a one-vote margin – and Democrats figure they could still get some of what they need by appealing to moderate Republican Dale Schultz. But if Gudex wins, the G-O-P’s majority could be 18-15 – and if that’s the case, party leaders could push through what they want with little resistance from moderates. The Gudex-King has attracted some big outside money on both sides from groups like the Wisconsin Manufacturers-and-Commerce and the liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee. The Assembly has around a 20-vote Republican majority, and the G-O-P is easily expected to keep control there.