Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Hulsey, Redick nominees for Dist. 77 seat

After a heated primary campaign to replace renowned environmentalist Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, in the state Assembly, Dane County Supervisor Brett Hulsey will move forward as the Democratic nominee in one of Wisconsin’s most liberal districts.

Hulsey carried multiple precincts throughout Madison’s west side while opponent and County Board Supervior Dianne Hesselbein took the eastern portion of Middleton, her hometown. University of Wisconsin on-campus voters did not favor Hulsey, however.

Hesselbein took the student precinct including some of the Lakeshore residence halls and Chadbourne by over 25 percent of the vote, while third-place Fred Wade took 68 percent of Sellery and Witte Hall voters.


Wade also won approximately 40 percent of voters in a precinct covering the Kronshage houses and western regions of the UW campus.

Hulsey celebrated the victory on Madison’s southwest side, where he thanked supporters and family members for leading him to victory in the primary.

In his speech, Hulsey thanked Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who he said endorsed him within hours after he declared his candidacy for the seat. While Falk was not present to congratulate Hulsey, her husband, former Rep. Peter Bock, D-Milwaukee, said Falk supported Hulsey because of his environmental policy.

At around 9:00 pm, Hulsey told The Badger Herald Hesselbein and Wade called him to congratulate him on his victory. Democrats throughout the district favored Hulsey by 15 percentage points – approximately 1000 votes – over Hesselbein, who took 30 percent of the vote.

Hesselbein, who said she felt satisfied with the campaign she ran, said she will likely make a decision on if she will campaign for Hulsey in the weeks to come.

As he appeared to become emotional, Hulsey told supporters the victory, while unexpected, was a welcome surprise.

“We had a tough spring county board election, and then we had another election we didn’t expect,” Hulsey told supporters.

Hulsey also praised his opponents for running a “spirited and issue-based campaign” and added the sometimes-negative media campaign sometimes caused difficult decisions.

“We stayed positive to the end,” Hulsey said. “That was not always easy.”

Last week Hulsey also received Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz’s endorsement in addition to a previous endorsement from city council President Ald. Mark Clear, District 19, who served as his campaign’s treasurer.

At a visit to Library Mall Tuesday afternoon, Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Barrett told The Badger Herald he followed the race and was impressed by its intense nature.

“It’s been a lively race,” Barrett said.

At the rally, while voters were still at the polls, Hulsey rode his bicycle to a meet-and-greet for Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Barrett. John Imes, another candidate for the seat, said Hulsey used the event as an opportunity for voters to see him with Barrett.

Hulsey will face Republican Dave Redick, who claims to follow the ideas of US Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Green Party candidate Ben Manski in November’s general election.

Black served 27 years in the Assembly, where he gained a reputation for being one of Wisconsin’s most vocal environmental advocates. He became known for riding his bicycle from the West Side to the Capitol.

Hulsey, who tried to cast himself as Black’s successor in the Assembly throughout the campaign, was attacked throughout the primary for advocating for possibly counter-productive environmental practices, such as a coal plant in southern Wisconsin.

Because of Black’s tenure in the Assembly, the District 77 seat is considered one of the most liberal seats in Wisconsin. Additionally, UW state-relations liaison Don Nelson said the Assembly looks to the representative as a leader in UW and state relations.

-Alicia Yager contributed to this report

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