Incumbent Justice Patience Roggensack will face Marquette law professor Ed Fallone for her chance to win another 10-year term at the state Supreme Court.
Roggensack and Fallone will move on from Tuesday night’s primaries, during which they eliminated Milwaukee lemon law attorney Vince Megna. With 86 percent of the vote in, Roggensack won 63.1 percent of the vote, while Fallone took 30.7 percent and Megna took 6.2 percent, according to The Associated Press.
“The voters of Wisconsin appreciate that I have run a positive campaign based on my extensive experience and judicial philosophy,” Roggensack said in a statement. “They understand that my judicial experience on the Court of Appeals brings a diverse and necessary perspective to the court and that I have worked extremely hard to run a campaign with broad, bipartisan support from people statewide.”
Roggensack thanked voters for supporting her Tuesday and said she looked forward to the general election, in which she said she is “still the only candidate” who has been a judge before.
She more than doubled Fallone’s vote count, so Fallone spokesperson Nate Schwantes said the campaign has “a lot” of work to do. Schwantes said Fallone’s campaign has had various volunteers knocking on doors and they’re prepared to win the general election despite the fundraising advantage Roggensack will have.
In a statement following the election, Fallone said, as a justice, he would work to make sure families have more influence in the high court than special interests do.
He also talked about the need for a new face in the “dysfunction[al]” Supreme Court, pointing to a report last week about a security plan for a justice who was afraid of Justice David Prosser’s conduct. He said Roggensack has downplayed the issue and called it “gossip.”
“It’s time to elect a justice who will be accountable to the people of Wisconsin and who will hold the other members of the court accountable as well,” Fallone said. “That’s the kind of justice I’ll be.”
Megna, the losing candidate, said he supports and will campaign for Fallone, calling the general election an “uphill battle.” He said the 2012 elections showed Wisconsin leans Democratic, so those who voted for President Barack Obama will have to vote for Fallone in April.
Given the 4-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court, Megna said people need to vote for Fallone to prevent the court from remaining a “rubber stamp” for the Republican governor and Legislature.
The lemon law attorney said he had a good experience running and will return to sue Volvo, the car company, today. He said he would also return to making videos criticizing Gov. Scott Walker, which gained him notoriety in the race.
Megna argued throughout the primary the nonpartisan race is already political, so the other candidates should follow his example and display their partisanship.
About 100 judges, as well as law enforcement, prosecutors and police and firefighter unions have endorsed Roggensack.
On Fallone’s side, former Sen. Russ Feingold, Democratic legislative leaders, the state’s largest unions as well as LGBT and immigrant advocacy groups have endorsed him.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.