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Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday he is appointing outgoing Attorney General Brad Schimel to serve as a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge. 

The appointment comes one day after Schimel formally conceded to Democrat Josh Kaul who is set to replace him in January after a slim victory earlier this month. 

“Brad Schimel has diligently served the state of Wisconsin as attorney general and the citizens of Waukesha County as district attorney,” Walker said in a statement.  “Schimel has shown a commitment to the rule of law and the state of Wisconsin. He will continue to faithfully serve our state as Waukesha County Circuit Court judge.”

Schimel will replace Judge Patrick Haughney, who resigned from the position effective Nov. 6. Haughney was first elected to the position in 1996. Walker had previously asked for applications for the position, which were due to his office on Oct. 5.

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Before becoming attorney general in 2014, Schimel served as Waukesha County district attorney since 2006. If he chooses to continue as Waukesha County Circuit Court judge, Schimel would have to run for re-election in April 2019.

Martha Laning, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said in a statement Tuesday that the appointment politicizes the court.

“Wisconsinites overwhelmingly want their courts to be independent, but Scott Walker has nonetheless appointed a highly partisan Republican to the job," Laning said. "Even though Wisconsin voters rejected divisive and partisan politicians like Brad Schimel just two weeks ago, Republicans have chosen to ignore the will of voters and put politics before people.”

 

Katelyn Ferral is The Cap Times' public affairs and investigative reporter. She joined the paper in 2015 and previously covered the energy industry for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. She's also covered state politics and government in North Carolina.