Following the money on Vukmir and Sullivan

Boy, I wish we could. The State Elections Board either doesn’t have the most recent report posted, or has it buried so deep I can’t find it. I’ve got a call in for help.

In the meantime, we can review the July 2008 reports. Senator Jim Sullivan had a balance of $8,000.22. State Assembly Representative Leah Vukmir showed $18,813.04. Keep in mind the numbers have likely changed. It will be interesting to see if there’s been an effort to build a war chest on Vukmir’s part.

I’ll confess I thought these numbers were low. Compare, for instance, Senator Ted Kanavas’ balance of over $91,000 for the same report. Representatives in districts 13 and 15, David Cullen and Tony Staskunas, both Democrats, each had more in their accounts for the July 2008 reports than Vukmir.

Here’s a map of the Wisconsin State 5th Senate district. You’ll see Vukmir’s 14th Assembly district in blue.

No doubt this was supposed to be a safe Senate district for Republicans back in 2000 when the boundaries were last drawn. But the urban landscape continues to creep west, and that bodes poorly for the 14th Assembly numbers. I’m not saying there will be another Democrat in that spot. I am suggesting it might not be much longer.

Mordecai Lee from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee was just interviewed by WUWM:

…the political parties will likely identify the area as a swing district in the 2010 elections. As a result, he expects the candidates and special interest groups to spend a record amount of money on the Senate race.

How much was the previous record? No one tells us. But I know a couple of candidates who need to be hustling funds for that prediction to come true.

Will Wisconsin Democrats consider it worthy of effort given the current Democratic dominance in Madison?


  1. It is not surprising that Leah Vukmir did not have a large campaign fund in 2008. There has not been a serious challenge from the Democrats to her during the 2006 and 2008 elections. The 14th Assembly district is still a safe Republican seat-the parts of Wauwatosa included in its boundaries are some of the strongest Republican areas in that city to go along with Elm Grove and eastern Brookfield.

    I do agree that the 5th Senate district is a challenge for either party at this time. The 13th and 15th assembly districts have become safe seats for the Democrats. If the boundaries do not change much the senate district will become more of a challenge for Republicans. I can envision a time in the near future when the citizens in Elm Grove and the eastern part of Brookfield will always have a Democrat as a senator who will live in Milwaukee or West Allis.

    In 2010 I envision that the real battleground will be in the eastern part of Wauwatosa which is represented by David Cullen. It is also where both Jim Sullivan and Scott Walker live. That area has been voting more for the Democrats recently but has also supported Scott Walker. The campaign may become real intense in that part of Wauwatosa.