By SCOTT BAUER
and TODD RICHMOND
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A three-way race for attorney general topped the ticket for Democrats on Tuesday in Wisconsin’s statewide primary, with most of the biggest battles — including a competitive race for governor — still to come this fall.
The attorney general’s seat is open after incumbent Republican J.B. Van Hollen decided against seeking a third term. The winner of the Democratic primary will advance to face Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, a Republican, in November. The Democratic candidates are state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee and district attorneys Susan Happ of Jefferson County and Ismael Ozanne of Dane County.
Two Democrats also are on the primary ballot for governor, although former Trek Bicycles executive Mary Burke was expected to easily defeat longshot candidate Brett Hulsey, who raised almost no money for the campaign and was largely shunned by party leaders, donors and other office holders. Republican Gov. Scott Walker was unopposed in the primary.
Voters also were casting ballots in contested primaries in five congressional districts, more than two dozen legislative races, and the Democratic lieutenant governor’s race. Turnout was expected to hit only 15 percent, as none of the statewide races generated much excitement or interest.
The candidates for attorney general have struggled to differentiate themselves in a campaign where they largely agreed on most issues. Richards is the only one of the three without experience as a prosecutor. Happ is the only one who doesn’t support making first-time drunken driving offenses a crime, rather than just a traffic citation as it is now.
Ozanne lagged in fundraising, while Richards was the first to get on television with an ad touting his experience. Happ released her first spot a week before the election, showing her riding a motorcycle and emphasizing her experience as a prosecutor.