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Next political race: state supreme court justice

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The entrance to the Wisconsin Supreme Court inside the state Capitol is seen, Sept. 15, 2011. (courtesy of FOX 11).
The entrance to the Wisconsin Supreme Court inside the state Capitol is seen, Sept. 15, 2011. (courtesy of FOX 11).

MADISON (WSAU)   Wisconsinites are taking a breather after almost two years of non-stop political campaigns. But the break might not last long, because another spirited State Supreme Court race could be in the offing for next spring.

Conservative Justice Pat Roggensack is up for another 10-year term. And there are reports that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi might be gearing up to oppose Roggensack. Sumi tells Madison’s Isthmus paper that she’s “seriously considering” a run, and she’s working with a non-partisan group of people to explore the possibilities. Sumi was the judge who temporarily halted the state’s collective bargaining limits for most public employee unions, when she ruled that a legislative committee broke the Open Meeting Law in endorsing it.

Roggensack helped overturn the decision, when the Supreme Court upheld the union law in mid-2011. Sumi says the case is only one of hundreds she has handled in 15 years on the bench. Massive protests over the collective bargaining law turned the 2011 Supreme Court election into a heated, close contest, with Justice David Prosser winning a statewide recount by just 7,000 votes.

Since then, there have been two summers of recall elections along with the regularly-scheduled contests. Wisconsin has had five statewide Election Days in the last eight months alone – with millions spent on the intense T-V ads and other campaigning that goes with them.

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