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SENATE

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald in the Senate chambers at the State Capitol in Madison in November 2017.

Republicans have enjoyed majorities in the Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate since 2011.

Democrats hoped to change that Tuesday, with their eyes on three Republican-held Senate seats to flip. Instead, they lost those three races, plus a seat they took in a June special election. 

Before results rolled in Tuesday, Republicans had 18 out of 33 Senate seats and 64 of the 99 Assembly seats. Not every race has been called for Tuesday’s elections, but it’s likely Republicans will keep their 64-35 majority in the Assembly and add to their majority in the Senate, 19-14.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, previously said he was confident in the Republican state Senate majority, and didn’t see “a blue wave coming.”

But Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling held out hope for three Democratic women aiming to take the 5th, 17th and 19th Districts from their male Republican opponents. Kriss Marion ran for the 17th Senate District seat, Julie Henszey in the 5th District and Lee Snodgrass in the 19th Senate District. All three faced opponents who outraised them from January to August.

"We have high hopes for them," Shilling previously said. "We are seeing in elections, post November 2016, voters coming back blue. There is a great dissatisfaction with both a Trump agenda and a (Gov. Scott) Walker agenda."

None of the three were able to get a victory, however.

Marion lost to the incumbent, state Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, who has held the seat since 2014. The 17th district includes all of Grant, Lafayette, Juneau and Richland counties and parts of Iowa, Sauk, Green, Monroe and Vernon counties. It has not been represented by a Democrat since 1978.

Marion, a farmer and LaFayette county supervisor, is sometimes referred to as “the Cookie Lady," She was one of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit that overturned the state's ban on selling home-baked goods. Marion earned 46 percent of the vote to Marklein’s 54 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

In the 19th Senate district, Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, defeated Democrat Lee Snodgrass. He won 53 percent of the vote to Snodgrass’ 47 percent. The district includes parts of Outagamie, Winnebago and Calumet counties.

Roth is an Iraq War veteran and a homebuilder. He served in the state Assembly from 2007 to 2011. Snodgrass is the chairwoman of the Outagamie County Democratic Party and the communications director of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes.

And in the 5th Senate District, Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, an Iraq War veteran, Army reservist and certified public accountant beat Democrat Julie Henszey, a corporate trainer and outdoor adventure guide from Wauwatosa.

Kooyenga got 51 percent of the vote and Henszey 49 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. The district includes Brookfield, Elm Grove, New Berlin, West Allis and Wauwatosa.

The seat formerly belonged to Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, who gave it up to challenge U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Vukmir lost to Baldwin on Tuesday.

In addition to failing to flip Senate seats, Democrats lost a seat in the 1st Senate District they had picked up in a special election in June.

Former state Rep. André Jacque, R-De Pere, regained his seat Tuesday from Sen. Caleb Frostman, D-Sturgeon Bay. Frostman’s special election victory was the first time a Democrat had been elected to the seat in more than 40 years.

Jacque won 55 percent of the vote, with Frostman earning just 45 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. The district covers all of Door and Kewaunee counties and parts of Brown, Manitowoc, Calumet and Outagamie counties.

Here are the results of key races in the state Assembly:

14th Assembly District: Too close to call

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the race between State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, the Republican candidate, and Democrat Robyn Vining, a small business owner, was too close to call. Adamczyk garnered 48.81 percent of the votes and Vining won 47.94 percent, which was a difference of less than 300 votes.

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Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, held the seat beginning in 2011, but gave it up to run for the vacant 5th Senate District. 

50th Assembly District: Republican win

Republican Tony Kurtz, an Army veteran and farmer, defeated Democrat Art Shrader, a Marine veteran and business loan officer. Kurtz had 55 percent of the vote to Shrader’s 43 percent.

51st Assembly District: Republican win

Incumbent Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, defeated Democrat Jeff Wright, assistant superintendent of the Sauk Prairie School District. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Novak had a lead of about 300 votes, with 51 percent of the vote to Wright’s 49 percent.

68th Assembly District: Republican win

Altoona Police Chief Jesse James won as a Republican against Democrat Wendy Sue Johnson, an attorney and former school board member from Eau Claire. James had 58 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 42 percent.

96th Assembly District: Republican win

Democrat Paul Buhr garnered 48 percent of the vote to Republican Loren Oldenburg’s 52 percent, for a vote difference of less than 1,000. Both candidates are dairy farmers.

Jessie Opoien contributed to this story.

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