A new Superintendent of Public Instruction will be taking the reins to oversee K-12 education in Wisconsin, and both chambers at the Capitol will be back to full strength with one new member in each house. The 2021 Spring Election took place yesterday to decide who would replace Carolyn Stanford Taylor as State Superintendent after she opted not to seek reelection after being appointed to the role by Gov. Tony Evers in 2019.
In the only statewide election on the ballot, Pecatonica Area School District Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly defeated former School District of Brown Deer Superintendent Dr. Deborah Kerr. The margin was 57%-43%.
Residents of Wisconsin’s 13th Senate District elected current Republican Rep. John Jagler (37th Assembly District) to the seat vacated by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), who was elected to Congress last year. Jagler defeated Democrat Melissa Winker by a margin of 51%-44%. The Senate will once again have 33 members, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats 21-12.
Likewise, voters in the 89th Assembly District gave the nod to Oconto businessman Elijah Behnke, a Republican, to succeed former Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) in this Northeast Wisconsin seat. Behnke defeated Democrat Karl Jaeger by a margin of 63%-37%. Republicans now hold a 61-38 majority in the Assembly.
In one other notable race, Judge Shelley Grogan unseated incumbent Judge Jeffrey Davis in District II of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. The final tally was 53%-43%. District II handles appeals from trial courts in 12 counties in Southeastern Wisconsin, excluding Milwaukee County.