Madison Attorney Drops Out Of Supreme Court Race

Claude Covellis Says He Entered Race Too Late To Be Competitive


Madison attorney Claude Covelli announced Tuesday that he’s dropping his bid to win a seat on the state Supreme Court.

In a statement, Covelli said he entered the race two months ago because he believed voters needed a truly nonpartisan justice to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Patrick Crooks in September. However, he said he began his campaign too late to get his message out effectively before the February primary.

The remaining candidates in the race are Justice Rebecca Bradley — who is currently serving out the rest of Crooks’ term, having been appointed to the bench by Gov. Scott Walker in October — Appeals Court Judge Joanne Kloppenberg, and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Joe Donald. Covelli said he hopes the winner will share his commitment to the nonpartisan nature of the office.

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Kloppenberg released a statement endorsing that view of the court and praising Covelli for promoting it during his short-lived campaign. Both Donald and Bradley have also made pledges to be independent and nonpartisan. However, Kloppenberg and Donald have accused Bradley of being partisan because Walker has appointed her three times to judgeships — most recently to the Supreme Court, where she now has the advantage of being an incumbent in the race.

A primary is scheduled for Feb. 16, and the general election is slated for April 5.