All Eyes on Wisconsin


Steve Freese
President and CEO

The closing days of the Wisconsin legislative session this year are scheduled for March 8–10. These days will be the last general floor period for passing bills. Then in April, the legislature only comes back to deal with limited business, and May 17–18 is the Veto Review Floor Period. Of course, they can always come back in a special session, but that is unlikely during an election year.

On the federal level, in Washington, D.C., the legislative session continues with floor periods through the end of the year, but the House goes into recess for all of August and October to campaign on the upcoming midterm elections. Likewise, the Senate has limited floor periods in August, September, and October for the election.

The one thing everyone agrees with this upcoming election is that Wisconsin will be the epicenter of the political world. We have the trifecta of elections happening in Wisconsin in 2022.

First is the race for governor. It is already shaping up to be a very competitive re-election for our first-term Governor, Tony Evers. The second statewide race with significant national focus is for the United States Senate. Two-term incumbent Ron Johnson has decided to try for a third term. It is likely control of the United States Senate will depend on the results from Wisconsin. Currently, the United States Senate has 50 Democratic members and 50 Republican members, and the vice president breaks ties. Both political parties will likely have unlimited amounts of money to compete in Wisconsin since Johnson is considered one of the most vulnerable senators running for re-election. Therefore, the party that wins the Wisconsin Senate race will likely be the party that controls the United States Senate. The third race of significance is also a federal race for the third congressional district seat held by retiring Congressman Ron Kind. Kind’s decision to retire is a blow to Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives because he has been a champion for electric cooperative issues during his entire career in Congress. His district reaches into the service territories of 14 electric cooperatives serving 215,687 members. More electric cooperative members live in this district than any other of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts.

These three races will be the focus of much national attention, but we also have half of the State Senate and all 99 members of the State Assembly up for election. So I can almost guarantee that the entire population of Wisconsin will be relieved when election day is over. For us, election ads and coverage will inundate our television and radio station programming, first focusing on the primary, which takes place on August 9, followed by the general election on November 8.

Unless you’re a political junkie like me, you will grow completely tired of all the campaign ads and the fliers that will overwhelm your mailbox. As citizens, it is our responsibility to research and get to know where the candidates stand on the issues that affect your electric cooperative so they can continue to provide safe, reliable, and affordable electricity. There are a lot of other issues I am sure you will want to know about the candidates and the positions they have taken, but for your statewide electric cooperative association, where they stand on issues facing your electric cooperative is front and center for us. We won’t tell you how to vote, but hopefully, we can give you information over the next few months to help you make an informed decision on who to vote for. However, we will encourage you to vote for the candidates you feel will represent you best.