Wisconsin’s 32nd Senate District pivotal in balance of power in Madison

Local experts says November's election could take away Gov. Evers' veto power

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Wednesday, News 8 Now recapped Senator Jennifer Shilling’s career as she ends her 20 year run in the Wisconsin legislature. Her seat is still very important, some might say even pivotal when it comes to the balance of power in the state.

While the world tires over just how to deal with a pandemic and reopening the economy, 2020 is still an election year.

“This is going to be a doozy of an election,” said UW-La Crosse political science professor, Anthony Chergosky.

Wisconsin’s election at the state level will be just as important for its residents as the race for president, according to Chergosky.

“The next decade of Wisconsin politics will be determined by the process of redrawing the legislative district maps,” he said.

All of the state Assembly seats and half the state Senate seats are up for grabs this November.

“This is an extremely important race in the 32nd District,” Chergosky said.

Shilling not running for re-election this November means Republican Dan Kapanke is running unopposed.

Right now Republicans hold the majority in both Senate and the Assembly. Chergosky said if conservatives gain three seats in each chamber, Governor Tony Evers’ pen will have far less power.

“Gov. Evers can veto things, but they will never the less become law even if he vetoes them should the proposal receive a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the legislature,” Chergosky said.

If this veto-proof majority comes to fruition when the 2020 census data comes in. The lines for voting districts will be redrawn by the legislature. Chergosky says the party in the majority will draw those lines in a way that helps them get reelected.

“He is sure to veto any map republican legislators draw. The question is, can the republican legislators overcome that veto with a two-thirds majority.”

He says the legislation that gets passed will come down to these six seats and lines on a map.

“What a great system we have right?”

The 32nd District will go a long way in deciding what Evers will be able to accomplish in the next two years

“This seat could be the pivotal decisive seat in determining if the republicans have a veto-proof majority.”

Whether this is good for Wisconsin or not is up for debate.

“Everyone sometimes gets a bit of what they want and everyone is sometimes disappointed. I think In politics people just kind of has to live with that.”

Former Agriculture Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff is considering a run for the state Senate seat Chergosky said Kapanke will have to flip a lot of Democratic voters in order to win.