‘First Time In Decades’: Democrats Panic After Election Blowout

On Tuesday, Republican state representative Samantha Kerkman was elected as Kenosha County’s executive, possibly heralding the beginning of a red wave.

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At least 25 years have passed since the position was held by a Democrat in the swing county.

Jim Kreuser, who held the position since 2008, announced his retirement last May.

Democrat Rebecca Matoska-Mentink was beaten by the self-described conservative by roughly 51 percent to 48 percent of the vote for the four-year term in a nonpartisan election. It was, however, not a secret which party each candidate belonged to.

Consequently, Kerkman, 47, becomes the county’s first female executive, and only the fifth person to hold that position, which is about 60 miles from Chicago and 40 miles from Milwaukee.

“I think it was the experience that I bring from [the legislature in] Madison,” said low tax, pro-business Kerkman to the Kenosha News. “I have been working with the county executive for years on issues that impact the county.”

Kerkman said to Fox 6 Milwaukee in the months leading up to the election, “Over the last 10 years, violent crime in Kenosha County has increased over 30%. And public safety is one of those things I hear about all the time. As county executive, I’d like to work together with our community partners to try to combat it.”

During her campaign, Kerkman stated that she had acquired “a reputation of being eagle-eyed in saving money for Wisconsin taxpayers.”

As explained on the website for Kenosha County, “The county executive is responsible for most administrative and management functions of county government,” including preparing the all-important annual budget for the board of supervisors. “The county executive also appoints and supervises county department heads.”

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Kenosha, the county seat, saw major rioting after Jacob Blake was shot by an officer in August 2020.

“The fallout from the rioting left the city looking like ‘a war zone,’ according to business owners at the time, and the damage topped $50 million,” according to Fox News.

Kenosha is a swing county and had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon until former President Donald Trump’s 2016 run, Fox 6 reported. The county voted for Trump again in 2020. Wisconsin is also a swing-state, with Trump winning the state in 2016 but losing it in 2020 to President Biden.

Kenosha grabbed the nation’s attention in 2020 following the police-involved shooting of Black man Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed from the waist down by the incident. Riots soon erupted in the city after the shooting, which coincided with riots and protests in other cities across the country following the death of George Floyd.

On the second night of unrest in Kenosha, Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured another. His trial gained widespread attention and he was ultimately acquitted of all charges in 2021.

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial occurred in Kenosha, where a jury found the teen not guilty of shooting two men to death during unrest.

A separate election in Wisconsin produced conservative Waukesha County Judge Maria Lazar beating out Judge Lori Kornblum for a seat on the court of appeals. Kornblum was the incumbent.

“Lazar’s win was the second time in two years a conservative-backed challenger defeated an incumbent appellate judge appointed by Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat. Last year, Shelley Grogan, a law clerk to conservative Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley, beat Jeffrey Davis, who represented corporate clients at a major law firm and had served on the Court of Appeals for nearly two years,” reported Stevens Point Journal.

This year, Evers is formally running for reelection in a bid that could mean another possible GOP reversal.

“Republican-backed candidates in local school board races came out as big winners in the Milwaukee suburbs that are critical for the Wisconsin GOP in statewide elections,” reported the Associated Press.

Fox News continued:

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a Republican candidate for governor, endorsed 48 school board candidates. Of those, 34 won including eight incumbents, based on preliminary results. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, a former teacher, school administrator and state superintendent, did not endorse in any race.

Conservative candidates picked up school board seats in Waukesha, Wausau and Kenosha, but lost races in Beloit and the western Wisconsin cities of La Crosse and Eau Claire.

The Republican-backed candidate for a state appeals court seat in southeastern Wisconsin, Maria Lazar, also defeated a sitting judge who was appointed by Evers.

On Tuesday, MI Rep. Fred Upton (R) announced his resignation from Congress, leaving a 40-percent exit rate among House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump.

Upton is the fourth pro-impeachment Republican to swear off running for reelection. The Republicans include Reps. John Katko (NY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), and Adam Kinzinger (IL).

Several other Republicans who support impeachment may not make it to the November midterms. There is a tough re-election campaign pending for Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Liz Cheney (R-WY). Rice has been described by Donald Trump as “a disaster,” and he is “laughed at in Washington.”

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“Look at every city that’s run by the Democrats if you want safety, security … vote for America First Republicans this November,” Trump declared. “But before we can defeat the Democrat socialists and communists at the ballot boxes … we first have to defeat the RINOS and grandstanders in the primaries.”

As for Cheney, she faces a difficult primary battle against Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, who is supported by Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Republican megadonor Peter Thiel, who has reportedly dubbed Cheney the “ringleader” of the “treasonous ten.”

Most political analysts, regardless of their views, are predicting that Republicans will reclaim both the House and Senate this November.

There is also a question of how mail-in balloting, ballot harvesting, voter ID, recounts, and other techniques, depending on the jurisdiction, will affect the election results.