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Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates to join WPR’s ‘The Morning Show’ for live interviews

Race could shift ideological balance of state’s high court, set turnout and spending records

By
Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz and former state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly.
Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz and former state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly. Photos courtesy of the campaigns

Voters will have a chance to hear from the candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court next week on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show.”

On March 23, Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz and former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly are scheduled to appear on the program for consecutive live interviews with host Kate Archer Kent.

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Protasiewicz will appear from about 7 to 7:30 a.m. while Kelly will appear from about 7:30 to 8 a.m. A coin flip determined the order of appearances.

“The Morning Show” is broadcast on WPR’s “Ideas Network” and reaches most corners of the state. The network is also available to stream live online.

Listeners may submit questions for the Supreme Court candidates before or during the program. They can call 800-642-1234 during the live show, email ideas@wpr.org or fill out a short online form.

The candidates previously appeared on WPR’s “Central Time” before the February primary election to discuss their campaigns. Protasiewicz urged judicial candidates to be more open to voters about their values. Kelly talked about aiming to be the “most boring” justice on the court.

As with past statewide elections, WPR’s politics coverage of the race will also include candidate profiles and feature stories, in addition to regular reports on news developments.

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The stakes

Although the election is officially nonpartisan, Protasiewicz is backed by liberals and Kelly is backed by conservatives. A win for Protasiewicz would shift the court’s tilt in favor of liberals while Kelly’s victory would maintain a 4-3 conservative majority.

The election is receiving national attention in part due to Wisconsin’s role as a swing state. In 2016 and 2020, fewer than 23,000 votes decided the outcome of the state’s presidential elections.

After the April 4 election, the Wisconsin Supreme Court could weigh in on the state’s election maps that were drawn by Republicans or its 1849 abortion ban that went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Election officials reported record voter turnout for the Supreme Court race’s February primary. The race could break campaign spending records last set during the state’s previous Supreme Court election in 2020.

The only scheduled debate between Protasiewicz and Kelly is set for March 21, organized by the State Bar of Wisconsin.

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