By LEE VAN LANDUYT | Hillsboro
On Tuesday, April 2, we have the opportunity to shape our future by electing candidates running for public office in both local and statewide elections. We have the responsibility to educate ourselves and vote for those who will positively impact our lives. Local candidates are most familiar to us, while in statewide elections, we may be less certain about a candidate’s qualifications.
At the state level, in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, one candidate is Judge Lisa Neubauer. She has pledged that she will serve as a nonpartisan judge and will be devoted to enforcing the rights of all Wisconsinites. Judge Lisa Neubauer worked as a partner at the law firm of Foley and Lardner LLP and was elected to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in 2008 and 2014. She was appointed chief judge in 2015 and 2018. Judge Neubauer has been endorsed by 331 judges, 98 percent of those of those surveyed, and by dozens of sheriffs and district attorneys across the state.
The other candidate is Judge Brian Hagedorn, who was appointed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in 2015. He generated much controversy when he argued that it would be “proper” for a state to establish its own official religion, but he flipped his position recently, stating that an official state religion would “violate” the Constitutional requirement of separation of church and state. One would think a judge would know the law.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association withdrew its endorsement of Judge Hagedorn on Feb. 18, saying that it did not want to be associated with views that directly conflict with the association’s principles and values. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also has declined to support him. In addition, legal scholars have openly questioned whether he can set aside his radical views and serve as a fair and impartial judge who upholds the rule of law. Additionally, only six of 337 judges surveyed (2 percent of judicial endorsements) supported him.
There is no “off” year when it comes to being a voter! Be informed, learn the facts and come prepared to vote April 2. To me, in this particular race, the choice is quite clear.