Three Candidates Set to Compete in State Supreme Court Primary

Three candidates are set to compete for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a February primary ahead of April’s general election.

Conservative-backed incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly, liberal-backed Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky and liberal-supported Marquette Law School professor Ed Fallone turned in nominating signatures to get their names on the ballot. The deadline to submit signatures was 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Barring any substantiated challenges that would cause the number of a candidate’s valid signatures to fall below 2,000, Kelly, Karofsky and Fallone will be cleared to participate in the Feb. 18 primary. The deadline for submitting challenges to nomination papers is Friday. The Elections Commission will certify candidate signatures on Jan. 14.

State Supreme Court races are technically nonpartisan, meaning candidates don’t run with a party affiliation. Still, partisan groups spend heavily to support their preferred candidates.

The result of the April election will determine whether Kelly, who was appointed by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker to the court in 2016, will get to serve for a full term.