Spring Election Post-Mortem
The aftermath of the spring election in Wisconsin? Nothing much on a state-wide basis. Incumbents won: Pat Roggensack and Tony Evers, both by comfortable margins. You'd think with the piolitical polarization in Wisconsin that two races pitting conservatives vs. liberals would lead to another 50-50 set of races, but this did not materialize. Why? Liberal groups largely chose to stay out of a race that they didn't see raising a lot of passion, and I have to imagine Don Pridemore being known as being far to the right and blacklisting journalists didn't exactly make him palatable to the middle of the Wisconsin electorate (yes, it does exist).
In Eau Claire, we have three new school board members and four new city council members (plus one incumbent victory). Of the ten city council candidates, three arguable towards the conservative side -- Monica Lewis, Dave Strobel and Eric Larsen -- got elected. Based on their comments in questionnaires, it isn't fair to necessarily call any of them "conservative" per se, and the term "conservative" in Eau Claire is a relative term. Eau Claire is a blue city, and barring a fluke situation, any candidate that aligns with the Tea Party will not get elected citywide. However, this might be the most, shall we say, non-liberal the council has been in quite some time, perhaps dating back to the legendary Six Pack of the 1980s. Granted, Michael Moua Xiong and Catherine Emmanuelle are probably more to the left side of the ideological asile, so it's not as though there was a conservative wave in the voting on Tuesday.
The overall implication for the council may be more pragmatism, as opposed to some element of right-leaning ideology. Perhaps more of an emphasis on basic city services and a slowing of the Confluence Project momentum will be store. I'd prefer to see the council invest in plans like the Confluence Project, though I understand where the skepticism has come from, and these new members may have a say in how the project proceeds. The Confluence isn't dead in the water, but you have to imagine more questions will now be asked. One also has to wonder if the aftermath of the Kwik Trip vote affected who won (and who lost, like Mark Olson). Also, remember that all candidates from 1st through 7th place received 10-14% of the vote, so no definitive statements can be made about the city council results.