GOP gains 64-35 majority in Wisconsin Assembly


MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Latest on Wisconsin elections (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

Assembly Republicans will have a 64-35 advantage when the legislative session begins in January.

Republicans were waiting to see if Julian Bradley could defeat Democratic incumbent Steve Doyle in La Crosse and boost their majority to 65, but returns tabulated Wednesday morning showed Doyle defeated Bradley by 1,672 votes.

Still, Republicans will have their largest majority in the Assembly since 1957, when they had 67 members. The GOP also maintained its hold on the state Senate in Tuesday’s elections, ensuring Republicans will have complete control of state government for another two years.


This item has been corrected to note the Republicans’ majority is the largest since 1957, not 1967.


10:05 a.m.

Wisconsin state Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling has a razor-thin lead over Republican challenger Dan Kapanke in a race that’s still too close to call.

According to returns tabulated by The Associated Press, Shilling led Kapanke by 58 votes with nearly all the expected vote counted as of midmorning Wednesday. Shilling issued a statement saying she looks forward to continuing to serve as a “strong voice for western Wisconsin in our state Capitol” but stopped short of declaring outright victory.

Kapanke campaign manager Jerry Ponio didn’t immediately respond to messages.

The race for the western Wisconsin’s 32nd Senate District is perhaps the most compelling contest of all the legislative races this election cycle. Shilling seized the seat from Kapanke in a 2011 recall spurred by anger over Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining restrictions and quickly rose to power.

She became minority leader last year and her name has been tossed around as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2018. A loss to Kapanke would be a huge setback for Shilling.


9:20 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence have hinted over the past few months about inviting him to join the new administration in Washington. But Walker, speaking on WTMJ-AM Wednesday, says he told them he can best serve the Trump administration as the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Walker says he plans to finish out his term as governor and would run only for the office of governor if he decides to go for another term.

Walker says as chairman of the association he can help ensure the Republican governors, the House, the Senate and the president work together.

The governor was critical of Trump during the presidential campaign before endorsing him.


2:25 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan calls Donald Trump’s win an “incredible victory” but work now must turn to “bringing the country together.”

And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton is “a win for taxpayers and a win for America.” And he says “our leaders should look to Wisconsin and be willing to make the decisions needed to enact serious reforms.”

Both Ryan and Walker have a complicated relationship with Trump. Walker was critical of Trump before endorsing him. And Ryan pledged in October not to defend or campaign with him. But as the election neared, Ryan became more vocal for Trump.

Ryan says Trump’s win is a “repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies.”


2:05 a.m.

Republicans have expanded their majority in the state Senate to 20 seats and are looking for one more.

The GOP went into the election with an 18-14 edge with one open seat. They needed to win at least four of the eight seats in play to win a 17-member majority in the 33-seat chamber. They did that and more. Four GOP incumbents held onto their jobs, Republican newcomer Daniel Feyen captured an open seat and Republican Patrick Testin defeated incumbent Democrat Julie Lassa.

That gives the GOP a 20-12 advantage in the chamber. But Republicans weren’t done; GOP challenger Dan Kapanke was locked in a race with Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling that was still too close to call on Wednesday morning.

Republicans grew their majority in the Assembly as well, defeating incumbent Democrat Chris Danou to get to 64 seats with one race – Republican Julian Bradley and Democratic incumbent Steve Doyle in La Crosse – still too close to call.


1:35 a.m.

Donald Trump has defeated Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin.

The victory Tuesday ends a Democratic presidential winning streak in Wisconsin dating back to 1988 that had covered seven elections. Trump becomes the first Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984 to win Wisconsin.

Trump nets 10 electoral votes with the win.

Trump campaigned in the state many times, winning over anti-Trump forces that helped fuel his defeat in the primary. He won the backing of high-profile Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson.

Clinton had been confident of her chances in Wisconsin. She did not campaign there after losing the April primary to Bernie Sanders, although she did dispatch running mate Tim Kaine and others to rally supporters on her behalf.


1:10 a.m.

Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin but the race remains too close to call.

With nearly all of the precincts reporting, Trump was hanging to a 3-point lead over Clinton. Should he prevail, Trump would be the first Republican presidential candidate to carry Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Trump was on the verge of having enough electoral votes to capture the presidency. Wisconsin’s 10 votes would be enough to put him over the top.

Trump made Wisconsin a priority, campaigning in the state five times during the general election. Clinton didn’t visit once. Polls consistently showed her ahead, but Trump was poised to prove them wrong.

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