Democrat Sommer Will Face Republican Tiffany in 12th Senate District


Former prosecutor Susan Sommer defeated UW geology professor Lisa Theo Tuesday for the right to take on Republican Assemblyman Tom Tiffany in a crucial northwoods state Senate district.

Attorney Susan Sommer defeated Lisa Theo by more than 20 points to become the Democrat’s standard bearer in an effort to hang on to a district that may determine control of the state Senate. The district’s boundaries have been redrawn to make it more Republican, which should favor Assemblyman Tom Tiffany according to political pundits. Democrat Sommer disagrees, “There are many people, and they’re not just Democrats, who do not think that Tom Tiffany would be the best person to represent us. The partisan politics is dividing our state and it’s polarizing our communities. It’s such a disservice.”

At a tavern outside Tomahawk, Lisa Theo’s supporters watched the returns come in. Theo lost despite snagging most of the endorsements from Democratic groups and labor unions. She agreed with Sommer that Tiffany could be beaten, “He’s been down in the Assembly now for a year and a half and what he’s been is a rubber stamp for the governor’s agenda, and we’ve gotten nothing done in the way of job creation in this state.”

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Tom Tiffany sees his year and a half as a Republican Assemblyman as a success. He was unopposed in the primary, and plans to run on his record. He says, “We finally legitimately balanced the budget for the first time in over a decade. You know, the promises that I made to the voters, we kept them. So we’re going to talk about my record from this session of the legislature, and then we’re also going to talk about the future.”

There is no incumbent in the 12th District Senate race because Democrat Jim Holperin decided not to run just months after surviving a recall election.