The Brawler was very happy to see that Judge Maryann Sumi is contemplating a run against Supreme Court of Wisconsin Justice Patience Roggensack in the spring election.
The Brawler was also very happy to see that Sumi realizes this is going to be a tough and expensive fight. Although that shouldn't be surprising given all the abuse she's received from the right over the past two years.
Can she win? That's a different question -- and you'd have to assume that the incumbent, who can count on boatloads of cash from WMC etc., would have the advantage. But, if JoAnne Kloppenburg, not a particularly strong candidate, came close to taking down David Prosser, a Sumi win would be more than possible.
Sumi's a judge, which makes her a stronger candidate than Kloppenburg. To be sure, she's the judge who stopped Act 10 in its tracks, and we can certainly expect WMC et al to dump millions in the race to make her out as a crazed Dane County liberal. But any credible opponent who runs against Sumi will be slimed like that. Sumi's smart, no fair-minded person independent is going to dismiss her as a moonbat (she was appointed by Tommy Thompson, let's remember), and her experience puts her on an equal footing with Roggensack during a debate.
Questions that come to mind:
Will the left invest resources to unseat Roggensack? My suspicion is yes. The closeness of the last contest showed that incumbents aren't invulnerable and a strong ground game can (almost) be enough. As late as March 1 -- before grassroots momentum to oust Prosser really became apparent -- some reasonably plugged in lefties I know were writing the race off.
"Would require a lot of money to get in the game with Prosser," said one. Another raised the issue of money as well as the fact that Kloppenburg wasn't a judge.
Also, it helps that this race is not taking place as different left groups are focused on recalls. "No one is focusing on Prosser," one person said at the time. Hopefully this time they will.
Will Milwaukee turnout be greater than in '11? Over the past two years the left's ground game -- and the base -- is more organized and energized than it was in the last Supreme Court race. Look no further than the astronomical 87% turnout in Milwaukee. To be sure, it won't be that high in spring -- but it could and should be higher than the weak showing in 2011 (and a weak Milwaukee turnout basically saved Prosser). The fact that Voter ID, one way or another, may be at issue certainly could and should be a powerful motviator.
Will be an interesting one to watch.
Illusory Tenant should be your source for all things Sumi.
While I agree with most of what Capper says, I see Sumi as a preferable first choice to Fallone (no offense intended to Fallone, who does great work).