Wisconsin’s Spring General Election – 2017

A few remarks on local and statewide races from the Spring General Election:

1. In Whitewater, incumbents seldom lose (and indeed, seldom have challengers). Yesterday falls within the realm of the seldom: a challenger in Whitewater’s District 1 race easily defeated the incumbent (Carol McCormick over Patrick Wellnitz, 164-87).

Whitewater’s challenge is not merely that candidates rarely run against (let alone defeat) incumbents. Her challenge is that individual candidates, however talented some might be, have trouble making a difference in a city that’s facing high poverty and economic stagnation. See, along these lines, Whitewater’s Major Public Institutions Produce a Net Loss (And Why It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way): “although members of the government are certainly also sharp and capable individually, they often produce collectively a product that’s beneath their individual abilities or that of other competitive Americans.”

On the national level, a choice between productivity and mediocrity presents itself, also, as Jennifer Rubin describes ably in Trump vs. an America that works.

2.  Statewide, Tony Evers easily defeated Lowell Holtz in the race for state school superintendent. Evers was well-liked and respected and Annyssa Johnson lists Holtz’s many self-inflicted liabilities (“Holtz had been dogged by ethical questions throughout the race, including accusations of nepotism, campaigning on work time, and an alleged scheming to land a lucrative state job with a driver and authority to dismantle the state’s five largest school districts“).

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