Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
It isn't often I have had a night like Tuesday night; all 3 of my major candidates won. It was rather like winning the Triple Crown!
In horse racing, the Triple Crown is considered to be a great accomplishment: it is one horse winning 3 important races.
My political Triple Crown was having all 3 of my candidate choices win their individual race for Wisconsin Governor, United States Senator, and State Senator!
In addition to my trio of winners, there were sure thing winners such as Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and unopposed 14th Assembly Representative Dale Kooyenga. That means for the first time that I can remember, most of my representatives are true Conservatives!
The faithful were gathered at the Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, watching election returns on the big screen, while we waited for Governor elect Scott Walker to show up. As they called each Republican gain from all those national races for Governor, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and our statewide races for State Senate and Assembly, the crowd grew more excited. It was wonderful, way too hot and crowded, but wonderful just the same.
We all cheered when Ron Johnson was projected to be the winner of the U.S. Senate race. Since Johnson and Walker's numbers were much the same all evening, there was little doubt of the outcome of the Governor's race.
Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch warmed up the crowd, and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner spoke too. Finally, it was the moment we all had been waiting for.
The crowd went wild when soon to be Governor Scott Walker came out. After a Happy Birthday serenade and him quipping this would be a tough birthday to top, he got serious and said, "First of all, I want to thank God. Not for this victory but for His grace to all of us..." The crowd heartily agreed. He also introduced the new slogan that would mark the Walker administration: Wisconsin is Open For Business.
The crowd thinned out a bit after that but the 3rd race of my Triple Crown still was not decided. While Scott Walker and Ron Johnson were ahead all evening, Leah Vukmir's returns seemed to take forever to come in. The first ones were worrisome, showing Sullivan at 61% and Vukmir at 39%, though I couldn't imagine that ever happening! (Closer scrutiny revealed only 8% of the vote was in--it must have all been from Milwaukee County.)
There was also a problem with some ballots in one district in Brookfield--the Vukmir/Sullivan race wasn't included. The problem was resolved but not before 20 voters had already cast their ballots without the 5th District State Senate race on it. Thankfully, those votes were not needed, and by the end of the evening, Leah Vukmir had won with 54% of the vote to Jim Sullivan's 45%.
For comparative number crunching from the vote totals I was able to find*, Leah Vukmir received 36,852 votes to Sullivan's 33,702, for a total of 70,554 votes. Back in 2006, Sullivan received 36,148 to Tom Reynolds' 33,686 for a total 69,834 votes. So this election had a higher turnout of 726 voters. (Make that 746 if those Brookfield ballots had had the State Senate race on them?) Vukmir's margin was higher too with her earning 3,150 more votes than her opponent Sullivan. Compare that to Sullivan's 2006 margin of 2,462 votes over Reynolds. So Leah Vukmir's win was 688 votes stronger than Sullivan's 2006 victory where he captured 50.6% of the vote.
Our nation and state still have a long way to go to reversing our debt load, reducing the size of government, and restoring our liberty, but at least the first step of that journey has been taken.
Just be aware, we cannot go back to business as usual, ignoring what goes on in Madison and Washington D.C. As I often say, a Constitutional Republic does not run on autopilot! Going to a Tea Party, calling your Congressman, or going to a Town Hall is not a one time thing. It is up to us to keep those we elect accountable to us. But for now, I am breathing a sigh of relief and as JT Harris said on Monday, I'm thanking God for this one more chance to turn this around.
*Some sources quote the percentages as being 52% - 48%, which works out with the vote totals presented here. Other sources state the percentages as 54% to 45 or 46% with no vote totals. Regardless, Vukmir won!