In The News
Pasch wins a close one in Sept. 9 primaryAll labor incumbents also win easily
In the end, neither mischief nor money affected the outcome of legislative races in the Milwaukee area in the Sept. 9 primary. What made the difference was trust and proven ability.
In the most tightly contested Assembly race (North Shore and East Side District 22), a vacant seat since Sheldon Wasserman was moving up Nov. 4 to unseat Sen. Alberta Darling, Sandra Pasch squeaked out with 80 votes out of 7,863 cast over Andy Feldman.
Milwaukee labor had recommended and campaigned for Pasch, as had law officers because of her leadership in health crisis intervention. She is also a nurse, a professor and an active presence in community concerns.
Still, the victory was a bit of a surprise in the field of four, since her opponents elevated the price of the game with a blitz of full-color mailings – not just from one hopeful but from two. It may have helped Feldman explain his policy background, but it may have hurt in ostentation the candidate everyone expected to make a stronger showing: Dan Kohl. The nephew of the US senator could muster only 1,786 votes, coming in a distant third to Feldman (2,839 votes) and the winner Pasch (2,909).
All the incumbents who had been challenged won re-election easily, and several buried their opposition with 8 to 1 or even 9 to 1 margins. Particularly feeble were the candidates relying on campaign literature from a Republican, former Sen. Tom Reynolds, whose printing shop was busy in support. And ugly.
In a last minute mailing in District 8, the third place candidate, Jose Guzman, accused incumbent Pedro Colon of supporting partial birth and chemically induced abortions (without context and as if that was his life work), opposing traditional marriage, and supporting a racist organization (Planned Parenthood) because of statements by its founder – which is sort of like holding today’s Catholics responsible for the anti-Semitism of medieval popes.
Voters seemed unaffected. The most votes against Colon (25%) were for Laura Manriquez and stemmed from his ongoing dispute with Esperanza Unida leader Robert Miranda.
The Reynolds-encouraged candidates also made hardly a dent against Annette (Polly Williams) in District 10, Tony Staskunas in District 15, and Barbara Toles in District 17.
Nor were any of the opponents a significant factor for Leon Young in District 16 or Christine Sinicki in District 20.
Lacking any major party competition, all the above incumbents -- all Milwaukee labor-endorsed -- can sail their primary victories right into Good Ship Office on November 4.
There they will be joined by Pasch, who sounded delighted election night with the narrow victory that many had not expected.
For organized labor, it was the rare moment when the best candidate for the district – and best on their issues -- actually won. Though there was a bit of worry late into election night.
The Milwaukee labor council, unable to interview all the candidates for Milwaukee County clerk, made no endorsement in that race. But the primary pretty well decides the winner, and the victor was Joe Czarnezki, once a state legislator. Among those he beat in a crowded field was County Supervisor Jim (Luigi) Schmitt, attempting to move up to a better paying job.