Democrats celebrated after Patty Schachtner claimed a state Senate seat in Wisconsin on Tuesday — one that has been a Republican stronghold. Schachtner, a medical examiner from St. Croix County, beat Republican Adam Jarchow by nine points. Former Republican Senator Sheila Harsdorf held the seat for 16 years, and the upset victory is the latest in a series of recent Democratic wins since Trump took office. Political shifts in some parts of America are making the GOP nervous about the upcoming midterm elections.
Could the tide finally be turning?
When Schachtner announced her candidacy for the special election back in November, her campaign focused on fighting for families in Wisconsin and working with communities to come up with common sense solutions.
On Tuesday, she issued a statement:
This campaign was about investing in people and revitalizing our area, whether that is making sure that every Wisconsinite has access to affordable health care, funding our public schools, technical colleges and UW campuses, or investing in good-paying jobs right here in Western Wisconsin. Tonight, voters showed that they share those priorities, and I am deeply grateful for their support.
GOP opponent Adam Jarchow conceded the race and congratulated Schachtner on her win:
I just called Patty Schachtner and congratulated her on her victory tonight. I look forward to working with her as our new state Senator. Thank you to all who worked so hard for our campaign— Adam Jarchow (@AdamJarchow28) January 17, 2018
Governor Scott Walker expressed his concerns over the Democratic victory:
Senate District 10 special election win by a Democrat is a wake up call for Republicans in Wisconsin.— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) January 17, 2018
And House Speaker Paul Ryan agreed:
Meanwhile, Dems are feeling optimistic:
we will take back our country, one way or the other. We didn't elect Donald Trump but for sure we are going to oust him— ncgazette (@ncgazette) January 17, 2018
Fantastic! Let's hope this movement continues to rid the serpents from Washington!!— CMfromCanada (@cmspeaksout1) January 17, 2018
WHOO HOO GOOD WORK TROOPS! 😁👏👏👏!!!!KEEP IT UP BLUE WAVE! WE ARE THE TSUNAMI AND WE ARE COMING FOR YOU!!!👉🏼— ARLIN RSTERN (@astern5556) January 17, 2018
According to news outlets, Schachtner ran a campaign based on positive goals, and Republicans elsewhere in the state should be nervous about her win.
People sent a message tonight we don’t want to be negative anymore. Change it up. I ran a positive campaign...My message has always been be kind, be considerate and we need to help people when they’re down.
The balance of power in the Senate still favors Republicans, who maintain a 18-14 majority and one vacancy for the fall campaign season, but the turning tide is giving Democrats much-needed hope.