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Kloppenburg announces run for appellate court seat (UPDATE)

JoAnne Kloppenburg

After an exhaustive and unsuccessful attempt to unseat a justice on the state Supreme Court, attorney JoAnne Kloppenburg is going to make a run at the appellate court bench.

The Wisconsin assistant attorney general announced Friday she will run for the District IV Court of Appeals seat. The election is set for April 3.

Incumbent judge Margaret Vergeront is retiring and Kloppenburg is the first to announce her candidacy for the vacancy.

Kloppenburg acknowledged the personal investment of running a hard-fought Supreme Court campaign earlier this year, but said she has the stamina to make a successful bid for the appellate court seat.

“I’ve been a litigator for 23 years,” she said. “So (this year’s race) was like working on a trial.”

Despite her defeat in the Supreme Court election to incumbent David Prosser, Kloppenburg said the statewide exposure should help her resonate with voters in this race. Prosser won that election by 7,316 votes, prompting the first statewide recall in 20 years, which upheld the incumbent’s victory.

“I do think having run for Supreme Court will have an effect, a positive effect,” she said. “It’s an honor to have enjoyed significant support in the 24 counties in District 4 and I look forward to building on that strong foundation.”

She said her message to voters is that justice is not for sale and appeals court judges are not elected to “do anyone’s bidding or have any agenda.”

Kloppenburg said her campaign committee will voluntarily limit all contributions to her campaign to $1,000 per individual or political action committee.

The $1,000 limit follows those set by Wisconsin’s previous public financing laws and falls within guidelines recommended by national groups. State law allows for contributions of $2,500 per individual and political action committee in the Court of Appeals race.

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