From Kim Butler, Chair, Polk County Democratic Party
First off, thank you all so much for ALL your work and contributions this election season, from phone banking, putting out door knockers, sharing on social media, writing letters to the editor to local papers, hosting and painting signs, and contributing to our Party and our candidates.  It all made a difference.

We got the big prize, defeatingTrump, and Joe Biden won Wisconsin in part because of what we did.  It is easy to be discouraged by the results in Polk County, but they mirror results across rural WI.  Let’s take the results as a challenge.  Sadly, people believed a lot of misinformation about Biden raising taxes, not standing for law and order, and supporting socialism.  It is hard to counter messaging that is quite literally filled with lies and preys on fear.  Joe Biden will have a lot of work to do to unify us and move us forward.  I hope you’ll join us to work in support of him.

As far as local races go, they were influenced by the national race.  Tricia Zunker, Patty Schachtner, John Ellenson, and Kim Butler (me) were collateral damage. We see the incredible amount of work Tricia put in, raising over a million dollars, getting national publicity, and still doing only a few points better than previous candidates.  I very slightly outperformed Biden in Polk, but my percentage was 6 points behind 2018, and right back where Jeff Peterson was in 2016.  That shouldn’t happen.  Gae Magnafici is a bench warmer and hardly campaigned.  Nick Milroy barely won reelection in AD73.  John Ellenson in AD 75 ran against a David Duke and QAnon supporting guy and also lost by 50-60%.  This was reflected across the state, where even candidates whom the Democratic Party heavily supported financially didn’t do a ton better than those of us with little to no financial support.  

The DPW will be doing more data analysis, debriefing, etc. in the coming months. I have already started conversations about a lack of financial support of rural candidates, especially in the 7th CD.  DPW is celebrating the Biden win and picking up a couple Assembly seats outside Milwaukee.  Patty’s loss was a huge disappointment, but Brad Pfaff won a senate seat near La Crosse.  Fortunately, the veto is protected, and Governor Evers WILL be able to veto unfair redistricting maps in 2021.  That will affect races through 2030.   This veto and Biden’s win are things to be proud of.  Ben Wikler, chair of the DPW, did absolutely amazing fundraising and put together a huge team.  Many of you worked hard, donated, and got others out to vote.  We’re slowing down for a while, looking ahead to the state superintendent of schools election, and laying groundwork for 2022. Thank you for your efforts.  We can all breath a little easier now, but we cannot step back as there is much work still to be done. I hope you’ll continue to fight the good fight with us.