Susan Happ Wins Democratic Primary For Wisconsin Attorney General

Happ Will Face Waukesha County DA Brad Schimel In Race To Replace Retiring Van Hollen

Susan Happ delivering her victory speech on Tuesday night. Photo: Gilman Halsted/WPR News.

Jefferson County district attorney Susan Happ won the Democratic primary race for Wisconsin attorney general on Tuesday.

Happ said she believes her record of working as a Democrat in a Republican-leaning county will help her defat her Republican rival, Waukesha County district attorney Brad Schimel, in November.

Happ won a three-way race with more than 50 percent of the vote against state Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, and Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne. She said voters responded to her promise to keep partisan politics out of the state Department of Justice.

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“Voters I talked to — both Democrat and Republican — are tired of the divisiveness. They’re tired of us not being able to have conversations about the issues that really matter,” she said.

Happ said between now and November, she’ll be talking about the issues that she and her opponent Schimel disagree on with a special focus on civil rights.

“Protecting women’s rights to make their own health care decisions, their right to have equal pay for equal work, the right to have people who are eligible to vote to be able to vote, the right for people to marry who they want to marry, those aren’t partisan issues in the sense of Democrat and Republican because we’re seeing a lot more support for those rights that span across party lines,” Happ said.

Happ, who had raised the most money in the race, was widely expected to win, though all three Democratic candidates had frequently struggled to differentiate themselves to voters.

Happ’s closest rival in the primary, Richards, though is stressing partisan loyalty and urged his supporters to rally behind her.

“We have to elect Democrats up and down the ticket because I think and it’s going to take all of us getting out and talking to our friends and neighbors and voting,” Richards said.

Republican Schimel has raised far more money than Happ, but Happ’s endorsement from Emily’s List, the national women’s political action committee, could help her raise the funds that she needs to run a statewide campaign.

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