It’s Time to Turn Out for the Spring Election – Here’s What’s at Stake

Who will lead public schools in Wisconsin? Should Milwaukee pay more in wheel tax?

Polls open at 7 a.m. tomorrow across the metro area to decide winners and losers in a basket of important if not-so-exciting races. (And don’t forget your photo I.D.)

Go to this state site to view your exact ballot.

State Superintendent of Schools
Tony Evers (incumbent) 
Lowell Holtz

This has been a surprisingly hot race for state superintendent, and it demonstrates how Evers has sharpened his tools as a politician. Holtz has protested once or twice, such as when he (indirectly) commented on Evers’ judo. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years,” he said. “I’ve been a cop. I’m used to taking a hit or two. It’s really tough on the kids.”

Evers is a Walker and Act 10 antagonist with deep roots in rural Wisconsin, and he’s only become more entrenched since winning strongly in 2013. Holtz, who broadcasts his own rural and suburban experience, has described himself as the “Kidservative” candidate and has tussled with a couple would-be scandals, including the accusation that he offered a past candidate a future job in exchange for bowing out. In the primary, Evers won about 70 percent of the vote to Holtz’s 23 percent.

Evers campaign website
Holtz campaign website

Milwaukee County ballot question
“Do you support County Executive Chris Abele’s proposal for a $60 Vehicle Registration Fee (wheel tax) to provide designated funding for transit and transportation-related projects?”

County Executive Chris Abele can’t get no love on his proposal to keep the county bus system afloat with a newly increased user fee. The County Board thinks he should try harder to cut elsewhere, but county officials say they’re running out of options.

Journal Sentinel editorial

Milwaukee County Circuit Court
Scott A. Wales
Kristy Yang

As a longtime Milwaukee defense attorney, Wales has racked up a laundry list of legal endorsements and has previous judicial experience to boast of as Fox Point’s municipal judge. Yang, on the other hand, is much younger, the mother of three, and runs a practice specializing in family law, worker’s comp and federal disability claims. If elected, Yang would be the first female Hmong-American judge in the U.S., but Wales has his own story to tell as someone with Moebius Syndrome, a congenital condition that causes neurological problems in the face and eyes.

Wales campaign website
Yang campaign website

Milwaukee Municipal Judge
Valarie A. Hill (incumbent)
William Crowley

Earlier this year, a wave of primary challengers went after no-nonsense incumbent Valerie Hill, who critics say has grown callous during her time in office. The surviving challenger, Crowley, is just 30 years old and works as a staff attorney at Disability Rights Wisconsin. He and the other candidates have said the court needs a less punitive approach, but Hill looks poised to hold onto her seat.

Hill campaign website
Crowley campaign website

MPS Board Member District 4
Annie Woodward (incumbent)
Aisha Carr

Woodward campaign Facebook page
Carr campaign website

MPS Board Member District 5
Larry Miller (incumbent)
Kahri Phelps Okoro

Miller campaign blog
Phelps Okoro campaign Facebook page

MPS Board Member District 6
Tony Baez
Jonatan Zuniga

Baez campaign Facebook page
Zuniga campaign Facebook page

MPS Board Member District 7
Paula Phillips
Joey Balistreri

Phillips campaign Facebook page
Balistreri campaign website

Washington County Circuit Court
Todd Martens (incumbent)
Robert Olson

Martens campaign website
Olson campaign website

Kenosha County Circuit Court
Jodi Meier (incumbent)
John Anthony Ward

Kenosha News story





Matt has written for Milwaukee Magazine since 2006, when he was a lowly intern. Since then, he’s held the posts of assistant news editor and, most recently, senior editor. He’s lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, and Indiana but mostly in Wisconsin. He wants to do more fishing but has a hard time finding worms. For the magazine, Matt has written about city government, schools, religion, coffee roasters and Congress.