Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
If you're in the mood for some election watching this evening, but don't want to stay up for the midnight Eastern poll closing in Anchorage, you have another option. Wisconsin voters will select two statewide elected officials today.
The race I'm most interested in is for state school superintendent. The Green Bay Press Gazette describes the showdown:
MADISON -- With the backing of the state teachers' union, and endorsements from Gov. Jim Doyle and other political heavyweights, Tony Evers would appear to have the inside track to advancing from being deputy to becoming the next state superintendent of schools.
But Rose Fernandez, who has far less money and mainstream support, thinks results from the February primary show she can unseat Evers and the education establishment in Tuesday's election.
Even though the position is nonpartisan, the race has a partisan feel. Fernandez's campaign manager is Brian Fraley, a GOP operative who worked on Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's campaign in 2006.
Evers has the support of the tried and true Democratic groups like the state teachers union, the AFL-CIO, Doyle, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and about 70 superintendents across the state.
The other statewide race is for a seat on the state Supreme Court. It pits Shirley Abrahamson, an incumbent who has been on the court for more than 30 years, against Randy Koschnick, who has positioned himself to Abrahamson's right.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Aren't these the sorts of offices for which technical expertise and managerial competence should matter more than political ideology and which, therefore, ought to be filled through an appointment process rather than through elections? (That was what you were thinking, right?)
The counter argument, though, is that if states didn't hold unnecessary elections at strange times of year, we'd have fewer elections to follow, which truly would be a tragedy.
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