Wisconsin marks the birthplace of a burgeoning Main Street Movement defending the economic livelihood of the middle class. The movement was spawned after Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and his GOP allies passed new laws stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Last night, Wisconsin Republicans suffered what was perhaps the first electoral defeat resulting from a backlash to their radical anti-labor policies as Democrats won a special election for an assembly seat held by the GOP for the past 16 years:
Democrat Steve Doyle defeated Republican John Lautz for the Wisconsin District 94 Assembly, flipping a seat held by Republicans for 16 years in a race that focused attention on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curtail collective bargaining right for most public employees. With 92% of precincts reporting, Doyle won 54% to 46%, based on unofficial results in Tuesday’s special election. The race flips a GOP Assembly seat for the Democrats, who remain in the minority.
The seat was previously held by Mike Huebsch, who Walker picked in January to serve as secretary of administration. Huebsch was first elected in 1994. The district covers rural La Crosse County and parts of Monroe County.
Doyle actually won despite “a barrage of television and radio attacks by third-party groups, along with mailings from the Jobs First Coalition, a Brookfield, Wis.-based group tied to Scott Jensen, the former Republican state Assembly speaker who left office in 2002 amid misconduct allegations.” “I look at it as a rejection of attack ads,” he told the La Crosse Tribune.