Republicans regain full control of State Legislature - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Republicans regain full control of State Legislature


MADISON (WKOW) -- While it was a big night in Wisconsin for Democrats, the party lost control of the State Senate.

Republicans won two key races to gain an 18-15 advantage.

In Senate District 12, where Democratic incumbent Jim Holperin is retiring, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R) scored a decisive 56-40 victory over Susan Sommer (D).

The GOP also picked up a seat they lost in the 2011 recalls in District 18.  Rick Gudex (R) defeated Sen. Jessica King (D-Oshkosh) in an extremely close race, winning by fewer than 600 votes.

Republicans will also maintain at least a 20 vote majority in the State Assembly, but lost a seat in Rock County, where Deb Kolste (D) defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Knilans (R-Janesville) by more than 20 percent of the vote.

Republicans lost another race of interest in Assembly District 75 in Barron County, where Democrat Stephen Smith defeated incumbent Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) 51-49. 

Rivard made headlines in September when the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel revealed comments he made in December 2011 to the Chetek Alert newspaper, saying that his father had once told him that "some girls rape easy."  Rivard was responding to a question about a sexual assault case.


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