In what has been called perhaps the most important election of the 2023 off-year election cycle, a liberal candidate won the open seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Tuesday.
As reported by Fox News, the 60-year-old Janet Protasiewicz, the left-wing candidate who was backed by the state’s Democratic Party as well as far-left billionaire George Soros, overwhelmingly defeated conservative candidate Daniel Kelly. With 95 percent of the votes reporting in, as per the New York Times, Protasiewicz leads Kelly by a landslide 11-point margin.
“I feel great. I could not feel better,” said Protasiewicz, a Milwaukee County Circuit Judge, after her victory was declared by the media. “I am surprised by the results and the magnitude of the victory here. We are absolutely delighted and thrilled.”
With Tuesday’s election, the state Supreme Court has now flipped from a 4-3 conservative majority to a 4-3 liberal majority for at least the next two years, with Protasiewicz succeeding outgoing conservative justice Patience Roggensack. Kelly, a former state Supreme Court justice, often criticized Protasiewicz’s record as being soft-on-crime, highlighting numerous examples of her giving light sentences to dangerous criminals who would go on to commit other violent crimes.
The race has massive implications for a wide range of issues in the crucial swing state, with a now-liberal Supreme Court preparing to address such matters as abortion, legislative redistricting, and controversial election procedures in the aftermath of the 2020 election such as ballot-harvesting and ballot drop-boxes. Wisconsin, which carries 10 electoral votes in the presidential election, is considered a must-win state for both parties in next year’s high-stakes race.
The significance of the race was not lost on both of the state’s parties, which spent a combined total of $42 million over the course of the election, thus making it the most expensive judicial race in modern American history.