A look at Wisconsin election results

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Todd Richmond, Associated Press | November 5, 2014

MADISON — The race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke captured the bulk of attention on Tuesday, but Wisconsin voters filled three other statewide offices, chose their congressional representatives and decided how to handle the state transportation fund. Here's a look at what happened:



Democrat Susan Happ conceded the Wisconsin attorney general's race to Republican Brad Schimel, ending one of the most fiercely contested attorney general races the state has seen in years.

The two prosecutors were vying to replace outgoing Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

Lori Smith, a 50-year-old food service production manager from Lodi, voted for Schimel. She said accusations that Happ went easy on a suspected child molester who bought her house turned her against Happ.

"The whole thought that somebody would have negotiations with a child molester kind of rubbed me wrong," Smith said. "I didn't vote for someone as much as I voted against somebody."

The attorney general race is typically a quiet affair, lost in the shadow of the governor's race. Not so this time around.

Happ, Jefferson County's district attorney, emerged as the surprise winner in a three-way Democratic primary in August. She and Schimel, Waukesha County's district attorney, spent much of the next two months locked in a tight race that turned increasingly negative as Election Day approached.

Schimel and his allies picked apart Happ's courtroom record, looking for plea deals she reached with defendants that they claim showed she was soft on crime. They especially focused on the case of Daniel Reynolds, an alleged child molester who purchased Happ's house. Happ's office gave him a deferred prosecution, allowing him to avoid a conviction if he submitted to evaluations and monitoring.

Happ insisted an assistant handled the case and she had nothing to do with it. Schimel's campaign accused her of lying after she told a moderator during a debate that Reynolds' case came to her office after the house sale was completed; it actually came to the office while the sale was still pending. Happ said she misspoke.

Schimel also accused Happ of being a liberal activist after she said she wouldn't defend Republican laws requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and mandating voters show photo identification at the polls. Happ called Schimel a GOP robot who would blindly defend any law Republican legislators pass.

Danielle Benden, a 36-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison archaeologist, said she went with Happ because of her stance on women's reproductive rights.

"She's more progressive in her policies," Benden said. "The pendulum has just swung so far (toward conservatives) on reproductive rights. All those decisions should be made by a person and her family and her doctor. Politics should have no say."

Schimel, 49, holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served as a prosecutor in Waukesha County since 1990. He was elected district attorney in 2006.



Voters approved a constitutional amendment to ensure that money collected from Wisconsin driver's license, vehicle plate and other fees should be used exclusively for road maintenance and construction. Lawmakers proposed the amendment after the Legislature transferred $1.4 billion from the state transportation fund between 2003 and 2011 to pay for schools and other expenses. Some voters worried the amendment would leave lawmakers with little flexibility in tight budget years, but others like Beth Stiennon, a 57-year-old office manager from Madison, said it was "a common sense issue."

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