The head of an economic development group is the first Democrat in over four decades to win a seat that covers parts of northeast Wisconsin.
Caleb Frostman of Sturgeon Bay topped Republican Rep. Andre Jacque of De Pere in Tuesday’s special election in the 1st Senate District.
President Trump won the same district by 18 points in 2016.
Frostman is the executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation. He will be the first Democrat to hold the seat in 41 years.
Frostman says he wants to make sure there are quality jobs in the area, and not just a quantity of jobs. He says both are important, and he wants to make sure people can have a dignified life if they work 40 hours a week.
Jacque says he’s very proud of the way he ran the race, and how his supporters kept everything positive. He pointed to the spending by outside groups, saying he was outspent by Frostman and groups that supported the Democrat.
Republicans still hold an 18-15 majority in the Senate.
Frostman will have to run again in November to keep the seat. Jacque and Republican Bill Nauta of Washington Island will be on the ballot in the August primary.
The last Democrat to hold the 1st Senate District seat was Jerome Martin of Manitowoc. Martin died in office, in January of 1977.
Republican Alan Lasee of Rockland won a special election in May of 1977, and he held the seat until his retirement in 2010. Republican Frank Lasee of De Pere won the race to succeed Alan Lasee.
The 1st Senate District seat was open, after former Sen. Frank Lasee resigned last December to take a job with Governor Walker’s administration in the Department of Workforce Development.
Walker didn’t plan to call a special election, and a Dane County judge ordered it, after a group headed by former Attorney General Eric Holder filed a lawsuit.
There was also a special election for an Assembly seat in southcentral Wisconsin. Republican Jon Plumer of Lodi defeated Ann Groves Lloyd of Lodi in the 42nd District.