Muskego Judge Shelley Grogan soundly beat Jeff Davis, whom Gov. Tony Evers appointed to the Waukesha-based 2nd District Court of Appeals in 2019.
Meanwhile, Outagamie County Judge Gregory Gill beat Wausau attorney Rick Cveykus for an open seat on northern Wisconsin’s 3rd District Court of Appeals.
With nearly 88 percent of the vote in, Grogan was at 56.8 percent of the vote to 43.2 percent for Davis.
“Thank you to the voters for putting your trust in me,” Grogan tweeted after her win. “I will stand by my pledge to uphold the rule of law and defend your constitutional freedoms. This is a win for the grassroots, the Constitution, and the rule of law.”
The 2nd District race attracted an unusual amount of spending for an appeals court contest. The Republican State Leadership Committee put more than $56,000 on cable backing Grogan through its Judicial Fairness Initiative. Meanwhile, the conservative Wisconsin Alliance for Reform did a six-figure TV buy that bashed Davis and Evers, accusing both of being soft on crime.
Davis made a late push in the race, putting $400,000 of his own money into his campaign in the closing weeks after earlier giving himself $105,000. He also ran a more traditional campaign that focused on his credentials and his endorsements, including all but one of his colleagues on the state Court of Appeals.
Grogan, meanwhile, ran a radio ad calling Davis, who lives in Mequon, a “Milwaukee liberal appointed by Governor Tony Evers.’’
In the 3rd, Gill outraised Cveykus better than 5-to-1 in the pre-election reporting period that closed March 22 and finished with nearly $75,000 in the bank. Cveykus had $46,397 in the bank to close the reporting period, but also continued to list a $40,000 outstanding loan that he gave the campaign.
With 78 percent of the vote in, Gill had 55.8 percent of the vote, while Cveykus had 44.2 percent.
“While I did not get 100 percent of the vote, from here forward, I will represent 100 percent of the citizens,” Gill said. “I will do so in a manner which demonstrates kindness, compassion, and fairness for all. It is an honor to be in this position and again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”