West end’s conservative support overwhelmed by east’s liberal lean
With more than 90 percent of registered voters turning out at the polls in Racine County Tuesday, residents here learned once again that a deep divide exists in the political preferences of people on the east and west ends of the county.
While voters in western Racine County communities of Burlington, Rochester, Waterford, Dover, Union Grove, Norway and Yorkville overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates, their counterparts on the east end – namely the City of Racine – came through to help push Democrats to victory in the major races on the ballot.
In the end it turned out to be a matter of simple math as the larger population on the east end trumped the totals posted on the west end.
Countywide, voters supported the re-election of President Barack Obama by a 51-47 percent margin over Republican Mitt Romney. The Democratic ticket of Obama and Joe Biden garnered 52,887 votes in the county. The Romney-Paul Ryan ticket finished with 49,173.
In the statewide U.S. Senate race, the county supported Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the eventual winner, by a 51-47 percent margin over former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson. Baldwin finished with 51,509 votes to Thompson’s 46,854.
The only other countywide race – the 1st District Congressional seat pitting longtime incumbent Republican Paul Ryan against Democrat Rob Zerban, bucked that trend. Ryan, who lost his bid for vice president, held on to his congressional seat by a healthy margin. The race was relatively close in Racine County with 48 percent (50,106) favoring Ryan over Zerban, who finished with 46 percent (47,618) in the county.
Incumbent Republican Robin Vos withstood a challenge from Democratic challenger Kelley Albrecht for the 63rd District Assembly seat. Vos finished with 55 percent of the vote to Albrecht’s 40 percent.
Assemblyman Tyler August, who nabbed 57 percent of the 27,207 votes cast in the 32nd district, was elected to a second two-year term representing the redrawn district. The Republican from Lake Geneva was faced by Democratic candidate Kim Peterson and Libertarian David Stowlow, who generated 10,809 and 844 votes, respectively. Bohners Lake in Racine County, and Lyons, Springfield and Spring Prairie, among other municipalities Walworth County, are included in the 32nd district.
Voters in the village and town of Waterford helped re-elect Sen. Mary Lazich and Rep. Dave Craig, both Republicans.
Lazich won her seat over Democrat Jim Ward by a 63-37 percent margin. Voters in Waterford favored Lazich 66 percent (4,543) to 29 percent (1,971).
In Racine County, incumbent Craig finished with 63 percent of the vote (4,343) and Democratic challenger James Brownlow had 28 percent (1,902) in the race for the 83rd District Assembly seat.
Voters in the Town of Norway helped elect Tom Weatherston to the 62nd Assembly District seat. He prevailed over Melissa Lemke 50-44 percent in the county.
All of Racine County’s elected officials won additional terms without opposition.
In the lone contested race in Walworth County, Republican Donna Pruess was elected the new register of deeds.
Pruess, who has worked in the deeds office for three decades, garnered 27,193 votes, while her Democratic opponent Sue Finster, who also has a number of years experience at the deeds office, earned 19,771 votes.
Pruess will succeed Connie Woolever who announced her retirement earlier this year.