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Worker-Friendly State Senator Elected in Wisconsin

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By Michael Horecki, AFSCME Council 32, and AFSCME Staff Worth the Fight Politics and Elections State & Local Budgets Workers' Rights
Worker-Friendly State Senator Elected in Wisconsin
Patty Schachtner

Working people who joined together through AFSCME played a big role in helping a worker-friendly candidate win a special election to fill an open Wisconsin state Senate seat.

Last week’s victory in Wisconsin’s 10th State Senate District and the recent victories of worker-friendly candidates in Virginia and Alabama show the power of coming together under strong unions to elect those who respect and support public service workers and the communities they serve.

In the special election to fill the open Wisconsin seat, AFSCME Council 32 endorsed Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County, who upset state Rep. Adam Jarchow with 55.3 percent of the vote.

Senate District 10 became an open seat when longtime GOP incumbent Shelia Harsdorf took an appointment in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration last year.

The victory – in a key race in the state that sparked the current right-to-work drive at the state level – was collaborative, with several entities besides AFSCME committing time and resources. Council 32 also engaged in a member-to-member program in the district, which is on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border.

Members of Council 5 in Minnesota were also heavily involved in member-to-member contacts, as they knocked on doors and made calls to boost support for Schachtner. Her victory moves the Wisconsin Senate within four seats of Democratic control.

(Contributing: Lisa Martin)