SPRING NONPARTISAN ELECTION
Offices To Be Elected, Tuesday, April 4, 2017
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice
  • Court of Appeals Judge - District 1 (Milwaukee County)
  • Court of Appeals Judge - District 2 (Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Winnebago counties)
  • Court of Appeals Judge - District 4 (Adams, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Marquette, Monroe, Portage, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, Waupaca, Waushara, Wood counties)
  • Various Local Races (Candidates' Answers not available on this website. Go to myvote.wi.gov to see the races that will be on your ballot.)
See Candidates' Answers below. Candidates are listed in alphabetic order. Their answers are verbatim.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction

STATEWIDE OFFICE
4-Year Term: 
Vote for one candidate. 
The Candidates:  Tony Evers (incumbent) // Lowell E. Holtz (No Reply)

TONY EVERS

Madison, WI 53703
tonyforwisconsin@gmail.com; www.tonyforwisconsin.com

1. What are the most important challenges facing the state in its responsibility for the education of Wisconsin's children and youth? Describe your priorities and initiatives in meeting those challenges.
To start, our school funding system is broken, and I have a plan to fix it (see below). Second, we in Wisconsin continue to face one of the country’s largest achievement gaps. I am dogged in my pursuit of strategies to tackle this gap. From increased professional learning, to working cross sector to improve summer learning opportunities, it will take a multi-pronged approach to move the needle. Third, we are facing a possible teacher shortage. We must improve negative rhetoric surrounding educators, and strengthen and streamline our licensing system to keep those who want to teach in the classroom.

2. How would you address the state's responsibility for adequate funding of high-quality public education in Wisconsin?
Under my Fair Funding For Our Future proposal, all students will receive a minimum amount of aid. To provide an extra lift for some students, the per-pupil categorical aid will be weighted to account for foster kids, English learners and students that come from impoverished families. The people of Wisconsin are on record that they want to keep their schools strong. An astounding 88% of the districts (600,000 voters) approved revenue limit exemptions just this last year. We must do right by our students to keep our education system strong.

3. What are your views on Wisconsin's voucher programs and their future? How do you understand the effect of vouchers on state support for public education?
My friend former State Senator Dale Schultz often said, “We can't afford the school system we have, how can we afford two—a public and private one?” It is a good question. 

That said, we all know the current majorities and proposed U.S Education Secretary support voucher expansion, so here are some of my key beliefs for moving forward: 
1. The state should adequately fund our public school system before expanding vouchers; 
2. The state, rather than local school districts, should pay the full cost of the voucher program; 
3. Accountability should apply equally to all publicly-funded schools, including voucher schools.

4. How do you see the role of the State Superintendent in working with school districts, the state legislature and the public?
As your State Superintendent, I work across sectors, communities, and the political spectrum to put kids first, always. I collaborate with state agencies like DCF and DHS to increase access to mental health services and high quality early childhood education. I work across the university, tech college, and business sectors to keep Wisconsin working, and I stand in partnership with parents and communities to find solutions to local funding challenges and keep our local districts vibrant. Our founders were right to create an independent, non-partisan role. It takes all of us to ensure each and every child is a graduate.

LOWELL E. HOLTZ
Beloit, WI 53511
NO REPLY

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice 
STATEWIDE OFFICE
10-Year Term: 
Vote for one candidate. 
The Candidates:  Annette Ziegler (incumbent)  

ANNETTE ZIEGLER
Middleton, WI 53562
NO REPLY

Wisconsin Court of Appeals - District 1 
MILWAUKEE COUNTY
6-Year Term: 
Vote for one candidate. 
The Candidates:  Bill Brash (incumbent)  

BILL BRASH

Fox Point, WI 53217

1. What educational, professional, civic and community experiences have you had that you believe qualify you for this elective office?
My passion for the law is evident in my qualifications and experience. I have worked as a lawyer for over 38 years, having served as a Circuit Court and Municipal Judge from 1985-2015, a trustee for Fox Point from 1998-2001, and in private practice and the business sector from 1978-2001. My current and prior affiliations, exclusive of bar memberships and related state committees, include the Fairchild Inns of Court, the YMCA Board, and Milwaukee Rotary. I am currently a faculty member of the National Judicial College where I have taught various courses, including an ongoing program on domestic violence.

2. Describe in lay terms what the Court of Appeals does and how it does it. What types of cases are heard by the Court?
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court which reviews contested decisions of the Wisconsin Circuit Court, as well as reviewing certain administrative proceedings, as provided by the legislature. This court is an error-correcting court which is comprised of four geographic districts and sixteen judges. Procedurally, the appellate court reviews cases using the records from the underlying proceedings which are sometimes supplemented by oral argument.

3. What procedural or legislative changes might improve the operations of the court?
N/A - I would defer to the Supreme Court and/or the State Legislature relative any procedural and/or legislative changes to the operation of the courts. 

Wisconsin Court of Appeals - District 2 

CALUMET, FOND DU LAC, GREEN LAKE, KENOSHA, MANITOWOC, OZAUKEE, RACINE, SHEBOYGAN, WALWORTH, WASHINGTON, WAUKESHA, WINNEBAGO COUNTIES
6-Year Term: Vote for one candidate. 
The Candidates:  Brian Hagedorn (incumbent)  

BRIAN HAGEDORN
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
NO REPLY

Wisconsin Court of Appeals - District 4 

ADAMS, CLARK, COLUMBIA, CRAWFORD, DANE, DODGE, GRANT, GREEN, IOWA, JACKSON, JEFFERSON, JUNEAU, LA CROSSE, LAFAYETTE, MARQUETTE, MONROE, PORTAGE, RICHLAND, ROCK, SAUK, VERNON, WAUPACA, WAUSHARA, WOOD COUNTIES
6-Year Term: Vote for one candidate. 
The Candidates:  Michael R. Fitzpatrick

MICHAEL R. FITZPATRICK

Janesville, WI 53545
www.judgefitzpatrick.com; campaign@judgefitzpatrick.com


1. What educational, professional, civic and community experiences have you had that you believe qualify you for this elective office?
I have 30 years of legal and judicial experience. For the past eight years, I’ve served as a Judge in Rock County Circuit Court where I preside over hundreds of cases in all areas of Wisconsin law. Prior to becoming a Judge, I was an attorney at Brennan, Steil & Basting Law Firm in Janesville where I chaired the Litigation Practice Group. Wisconsin’s judges have elected me to numerous boards including the Wisconsin Judicial Council. I also serve on the Faculty of the Wisconsin Judicial College and was a member of the Wisconsin State Bar Committee on Professional Ethics. 

2. Describe in lay terms what the Court of Appeals does and how it does it. What types of cases are heard by the Court?
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals (WCOA) reviews appeals of decisions of circuit (trial) level judges. Every litigant is entitled to an appeal to the WCOA. Every type of case heard by trial courts can be considered in an appeal to the WCOA including criminal, family law, juvenile justice, contract disputes, injury cases, business disputes, and employment actions. The decisions of the WCOA can be appealed to Wisconsin’s highest court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  The 16 judges of the WCOA are divided among four separate districts.  District Four, for which I am running, covers 24 counties in central and western Wisconsin.

3. What procedural or legislative changes might improve the operations of the court?
I have no suggested changes at this time.

 

Copyright League of Women Voters of Wisconsin