By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack released the first television ad of the campaign on Wednesday, touting her experience as a judge over her two opponents who have never served on the bench.
Roggensack’s ad initially will air only in Milwaukee this week before expanding to Green Bay starting Monday, said Roggensack campaign consultant Brandon Scholz. It hits the air less than two weeks from the Feb. 19 primary where the field of candidates will be narrowed from three to two before the April 2 general election.
Roggensack is being challenged by Milwaukee lemon law attorney Vince Megna and Marquette University law school professor Ed Fallone. Megna said he doesn’t have enough money to run any ads before the primary. Fallone hasn’t said when he will begin advertising.
Roggensack’s 30-second ad plays on her experience as a Supreme Court judge and former appeals court judge, saying experience matters in that profession. It shows images of an airline pilot with a counter showing two flights landed, a surgeon with one surgery performed and NFL referees logging just their third game. It then shows Roggensack on the bench with a counter saying she’s heard more than 550 cases on the high court over the past 10 years and 2,400 appellate cases.
Roggensack is seeking election to a second 10-year term on the Supreme Court. She served seven years on the state appeals court before that.
Megna has been a private practice attorney for 20 years, focusing on consumer law. His campaign is based around his contention that he will represent the average person on the court.
Fallone is a constitutional law professor who has also worked 24 years as an attorney in private practice, with a focus on corporate litigation. Fallone has said that experience more than qualifies him for the high court.
Megna said he wasn’t concerned about Roggensack running an ad now because he assumes she will be one of the two-top vote-getters in the primary and will advance.
“I don’t think Roggensack’s commercial is going to have an effect on either me or Ed Fallone because one of us is going to make it through,” Megna said.
Fallone’s campaign spokesman Nate Schwantes issued a statement saying the real issue was who was providing money for the ads. He referenced the $20,550 Roggensack has received from Fund for Parent Choice, a national group that advocates for private school vouchers.
Schwantes said Fallone would “stand up to the special interests and level the playing field for Wisconsin families.”
Campaign finance reports filed last week showed Roggensack with $55,000 in the bank heading into January compared with about $6,900 for Megna and $5,400 for Fallone. Her totals didn’t include money from the voucher group.
All three candidates were scheduled to appear together for the first time at a Thursday forum organized by the Milwaukee Bar Association. No other joint appearances are scheduled before the primary.