Incumbent Judge Lisa S. Neubauer defeated attorney William C. Gleisner, III, in the election for District II Court of Appeals on April 1, by a nearly 2-1 margin.
Neubauer, appointed to the seat by Gov. Jim Doyle last year, received wide support across the spectrum during the campaign, and won with 63 percent of the vote, compared to 37 percent for Gleisner.
Despite extensive ties with the Democratic Party, Neubauer's campaign co-chairs included former State Republican Party Chairman and current CEO of the Bradley Foundation, Michael W. Grebe.
Neubauer was also supported by numerous other judges on the Court of Appeals.
Chief Judge Richard Brown, who initially intended to stay neutral in the campaign, wrote in his endorsement: "Mr. Gleisner's campaign ads tout him as a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-voter I.D. candidate. Whatever the merits of these personal positions may be, they have absolutely nothing to do with the work of the Court of Appeals. In my 30 years on this Court, we have had not one abortion case, not one gun case, and not one voter I.D. case. Not one. And should these kinds of cases ultimately arise, they will be appropriately handled by our Supreme Court, not the Court of Appeals, and then decided based on the law that exists at the time."
Speaking on Wednesday after the election, Judge Neubauer stated the campaign was a very positive experience, and that she was thankful for support from all segments of the community.
Neubauer stated, "The election shows that voters do want candidates for judicial office to be above politics. They want them to be truly independent and fair and nonpartisan."
"The bottom line," she continued, "was that we tried to run a positive campaign that addressed the merits and qualifications of the candidates. I'm very grateful the community spoke out in that way."
In an interview with Wisconsin Law Journal, Gleisner stated, "I think the electorate spoke. I'm disappointed in the negativity of the race, especially from some commentators."
Gleisner added, "There was a great deal of mean-spiritedness, but it's over, and I am proud of the race I ran."