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Wisconsin candidates hit filing deadline, setting stage for competitive November races

Monday was the deadline for prospective candidate to submit paperwork to appear on the November election ballot

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A sign at the door to the Wisconsin Elections Commission in Madison, Wis., on June 3, 2024. Anya van Wagtendonk/WPR

Following a Monday deadline, Wisconsin candidates for the November general election are one step closer to getting on the ballot, setting the stage for competitive races in a year when new legislative maps have shifted the landscape for statewide elections.

In total, 424 candidates submitted paperwork for state races including the Assembly and state Senate, U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, and county District Attorneys, according to documents from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

In the Legislature, 310 candidates filed to run for the state’s 99 Assembly districts — all of which are up for grabs under the new maps — and in 16 of the Senate districts.

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One Senate district in Milwaukee County, which will have a special election on July 30, has a separate filing deadline of Tuesday.

These almost-final numbers indicate potential for a shakeup in the state Legislature, after last year’s redistricting battle culminated in a new set of legislative maps that could shift power away from Republicans. Republicans have held outsized majorities in both chambers for years, and Democrats celebrated the arrival of new maps in February as an opportunity to challenge that makeup.

In total, voters are likely to see competitive races in all but four Senate races. Those noncompetitive districts have only Democratic candidates on the slate. And 84 Assembly races will be competitive. Four have just a Democratic candidate running unopposed, nine have a slate of only Democrats and three have a slate of only Republicans.

Candidates faced a 5 p.m. filing deadline Monday, with papers required to be dropped off in person at the commission’s Madison offices. An atomic clock sat on the desk where candidates delivered their paperwork to signify the exact deadline — a nod to a past fight over the timing of the nomination papers of rapper Kanye West during the 2020 presidential election. One person who ran through the rain and reached the doors at 5:03 p.m. on Monday was turned away.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will meet next Monday to formally finalize the names that will appear on voters’ November ballots. In the meantime, the agency will review candidates’ paperwork to determine eligibility and any pending challenges.

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