Field Grows Crowded for Open State Senate Seat Race to Replace Former Senator Darling

December 21, 2022 1:10 PM | Anonymous

As was announced in last month’s WAO Advocacy Newsletter, State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) stepped down from office on Dec. 1 after serving in the Legislature for 32 years.

The 8th Senate District, which Darling vacated, covers portions of Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties, including the municipalities of Mequon, Cedarburg, Germantown, and Menomonee Falls. The district leans Republican, but the special election could be competitive, and several candidates – from both sides of the aisle – have announced they will seek the open seat next year.

The GOP primary will be crowded, as Republican State Representatives Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) and Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), whose Assembly districts lie within the 8th Senate District, have announced their candidacy. Other Republicans planning to run include Village of Thiensville President Van Mobley; Brown Deer college student Robert Albrightson; and former State Senator Randy Hopper.

On the Democratic side, Whitefish Bay attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin is the only announced candidate.

Gov. Tony Evers has ordered a special election for April 2023, which coincides with the state’s 2023 spring election. If necessary – which currently appears to be the case on the GOP side – a primary will be held on February 21. The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Darling’s term, which ends in January 2025.

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