What to Watch in Wisconsin’s April 5 Elections

Wisconsin voters are electing local officials on April 5. On the menu are elections for school board and for offices that, among other things, touch on the mounting fights around election administration.

Here are elections that Bolts will be watching closely. (These elections are technically nonpartisan, though many candidates have drawn support from the Democratic and Republican parties.) Bolts will update the page as results come in on and after Election Night.


Milwaukee MayorWisconsin’s largest city is choosing between Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson and self-described conservative Bob Donovan.Johnson wins.
County BoardFormer lawmaker Josh Zepnick faces union organizer Juan Miguel Martinez, backed by many left-leaning groups, for a board seat.Recount

School Board

Eau ClaireThree conservative candidates (C. Cronarth, N. Everson, M. Winter) are attacking Eau Claire’s inclusive LGBT policies, in the context of death threats against the board.Conservative slate loses.
KenoshaConservatives failed to recall a board member, but now a conservative slate (Eric Meadows, Jon Kim and Kristine Schmaling) is taking aim at incumbents. (Recall organizer Amanda Nedewski is seeking a seat on the county board.)Conservative slate wins.
WaukeshaHere too, a conservative slate (K. Kozlowski, M. Borowski, and M. Moorer) is opposing school teachings about racism and LGBTQ-inclusive policies.Conservative slate wins.
Menomonee Falls (in Waukesha Co.)Here too, a candidate running for school board (C. Stueland) has focused on book banning.Stueland wins.
DC Everest (in Maraton Co.)A candidate (S. Frazier) is running by accusing incumbents of engaging in “Marxism” and “Critical Race Theory.” He and fellow challengers S. Grabko and A. Hartinger are backed by the GOP.Grabko wins; Hartinger and Frazier lose.

Local Offices that Touch on Voting

De Pere CouncilKelly Ruh was one of the nation’s 84 fake electors for Donald Trump in 2020; she is now running for re-election as an alderperson versus Pamela Grantz.Grantz wins.
Court of Appeals, District IIFor a seat on the state’s second highest-court, Democratic incumbent L. Kornblum faces M. Lazar, who is touting the endorsement of figures who were part of the efforts to overturn the 2020 election. (Election also has implications for other issues like criminal justice.)Lazar wins.
Kenosha County ExecutiveRepublican lawmaker Samantha Kerkman, who co-chaired the state’s audit commission when it voted along party lines to order an audit of the 2020 election last year, now seeks to become a county executive. Kerkman wins.
Green Bay CouncilIn a city with rocky conflicts on election administration, candidate Melinda Eck, who helped organize a local “Stop-the-Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, seeks a city council seat.Eck wins.
Waukesha MayorMayor Shawn Reilly faces a challenge by Julie Saib, who has cheered a recent report that alleged widespread fraud in the 2020 elections.Reilly wins.
Brown County BoardLeanne Cramer and Kimber Rollin, running for two board seats, are among the candidates identified by the Green Bay Press-Gazette as echoing the Big Lie.Cramer & Rollin lose.
Read our preview of how the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election is playing up in these elections.