The Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Lisa Neubauer fared better than her opponent, Brian Hagedorn, in a survey of Milwaukee Bar Association members.
And when survey respondents were asked about the race for Milwaukee County Branch 40, they gave higher rankings to the incumbent Andrew Jones, a Walker appointee and former Husch Blackwell attorney, than his challenger, Danielle Shelton, a public defender.
The Milwaukee Bar Association surveys its members each year before spring elections, asking them to rate the qualifications of judicial candidates on the ballot. The MBA asks members to evaluate the candidates according to criteria such as integrity, knowledge, their understanding of the law and their communication abilities.
Members had the option of rating candidates as “qualified” or “not qualified.” They could also list “no opinion” — stating they were not familiar with a candidate’s qualifications.
Fifteen percent of MBA members responded to the survey, and not all responses to the survey rated each candidate.
In the race for Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s seat, respondents showed a preference for Neubauer, who is the chief judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and sits on District 2 of the appeals court. Neubauer was rated qualified by 277 members and not qualified by 14 members.
On the other hand, Hagedorn, also a court of appeals judge in District 2, was rated qualified by 79 members and not qualified by 186 members.
In the contested race for Branch 40, respondents showed a preference for Jones, who was rated as qualified by 190 members and not qualified by 18 members.
His challenger, Shelton, was rated as qualified by 100 members and not qualified by 85 members.
The MBA also asked its members about uncontested races in Milwaukee County.
Judge David Swanson, the incumbent for Branch 11, was rated as qualified by 130 members and unqualified by 6 members.
Judge William Pocan, the incumbent for Branch 26, was rated qualified by 242 members and unqualified by 14 members.
Judge Laura Crivello, who was a Milwaukee County prosecutor before then-Gov. Walker appointed her to Branch 36 last year, was rated as qualified by 177 members and unqualified by 15 members.
Judge Audrey Skwierawski, who was a deputy state attorney general before then-Gov. Walker appointed her to Branch 41 last year, was rated as qualified by 175 members and unqualified by 16 members.