MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court and state superintendent reported little fundraising activity in the last two months of 2012 as the campaigns remained largely silent ahead of the April 2 election.
Three candidates vying for the Supreme Court while two are running to lead the state Department of Public Instruction. All of them were required to file reports Thursday showing how much they had raised and spent through the end of last year.
There will be a Feb. 19 primary to reduce the number of candidates for Supreme Court from three to two. Both candidates for state superintendent, incumbent Tony Evers and challenger state Rep. Don Pridemore, will advance to the general election.
Both races are officially nonpartisan, although Pridemore is a Republican state representative and Evers, who is seeking a second term, was widely backed in his previous run by Democratic-leaning groups, including one that spearheaded the effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
In the Supreme Court race, incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack typically aligns herself with conservative members of the court. Roggensack is endorsed by the Milwaukee Police Supervisors Organization, the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association, the Milwaukee Police Association, and 52 county sheriffs.
Challenger Vince Megna, a Milwaukee lemon law attorney, has declared himself to be a Democrat and called on the other candidates to announce their party affiliation and where they stand on various issues, some of which may come before the court.
Megna lists endorsements from Michael Skwierawski, retired chief judge for Milwaukee County; DeVonna Joy, a lawyer and owner of the Consumer Justice Law Center in Muskego; and Rosemary Shahan, an auto consumer advocate and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety which is based in California.
The third candidate, Marquette University law school professor Ed Fallone, has received the backing of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.
Both Megna and Fallone are running their first races for office, while Roggensack is seeking her second 10-year term on the Supreme Court. The first joint appearance for all three Supreme Court candidates is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Milwaukee Bar Association.
Roggensack reported raising nearly $39,000 last year and having a little over $55,000 cash on hand at the beginning of January. Megna reported raising about $10,700, with all but $700 of that coming from a loan Megna made to his campaign. He reported having nearly $7,000 on hand. Fallone reported raising $5,450 and spending just $45 in December.
In the superintendent race, Pridemore reported raising nearly $62,000 in 2012, but most of what he brought in came from a $49,000 loan Pridemore made to his own campaign. He reported only 13 contributions from individuals totaling $2,000 in the last two months of 2012.
Evers reported raising nearly $55,200 for the year and having about $74,800 cash on hand. He reported a $24,000 loan, which his campaign spokeswoman said he had made to his first campaign in 2009 and carried over to this year.
Like Fallone in the Supreme Court race, Evers has been endorsed by the state AFL-CIO.
While Evers is also backed by the group that sought to recall Walker, and Evers signed that petition, he and the governor have worked closely together on a number of initiatives the past two years. Walker has not said whether he will endorse anyone in the race.
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