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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Walworth County voters buck some trends

Walworth County voters decided to do it their own way Tuesday.

Despite our reputation as a conservative, Republican stronghold, voters found some Democratic candidates worth a closer look this time around.

It appears that residents of Richmond and Whitewater townships, along with the city of Whitewater, will be represented by Democrats in the state assembly, if the vote totals hold up.

When it came to education, voters decided it was time to open up their pocketbooks.

Delavan's school spending measure passed Tuesday, allowing the district to borrow up to $1.9 million to upgrade Darien Elementary and Wileman Elementary schools as well as Delavan-Darien High School.

In Whitewater, voters agreed to allow the district to exceed spending limits in order to maintain current programs.

The only referendum to fail was Lake Geneva's, where voters decided they would still rather vote for city attorney, rather than have one appointed by the mayor.

State Assembly

--Although there is only a small part of the 32nd Assembly District in Walworth County, it played a big part in Tuesday's election.

Most of the district is in the western half of Rock County, but works it's way over to include Whitewater Township and the city of Whitewater.

Whitewater voters are credited with pushing Democrat Kim Hixson, a Whitewater city councilman, ahead of incumbent Debi Towns. A recount is expected.

--In the contentious 32nd State Assembly District race, voters selected Republican incumbent Thomas Lothian to return to Madison, over Democratic challenger Ryan Schroeder by a vote of 9,583 to 8,322.

--In the 31st Assembly District, which includes most of the northern half of Walworth County, plus parts of Jefferson and Waukesha counties, Rep. Stephen Nass retained his seat over Scott Woods by a nearly 2-1 margin.

--In the northeast corner of the county lie the village of East Troy and East Troy township, which are part of the 83rd Assembly District. Most of that district lies in Racine and Waukesha counties.

Republican incumbent Scott Gunderson defeated Democrat Donald G. Herron both in Walworth County and throughout the district.

--Richmond Township voters are part of the 45th Assembly District, which also includes most of the western half of Rock County. No Republican challenger was on the ballot, which allowed Democrat Chuck Benedict to retain his seat.

State Senate

Although the Tuesday's votes turned the state Senate over to the Democrats, voters in the two districts that represent parts of Walworth County decided to stick with the incumbent.

Republican Sen. Neal Kedzie easily retained his seat in the 11th, while Democrat Sen. Judy Robson kept her seat in the 15th, defeating Republican Greg Addie in both the Walworth County vote and the district-wide vote.

The 28th Senate District, covering East Troy and East Troy township, won't be up for election for another two years.

~Dan Plutchak, editor

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