A Good Turnout

Yesterday, I got the kids to school and then reported in to the Democratic HQ here in Beloit. They sent me out on a lit drop, and I hit every house in the northern part of the Town of Beloit with door hangers that reminded people just where their polling place was.

After shuffling kids around at noon, I finished up my assignment, then went back to HQ to hit the phones, reminding targeted voters to get out to the polls. When school let out, I picked up the kids and went home. My wife had a late meeting, so I made the kids dinner. When she got home, I headed back downtown again for the final push.

Ann just joined the board of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, so she’s not permitted to help one party or the other. However, she can take care of the kids while I pound the pavement, and I took great advantage of that.

Afterward, I joined my mother (who runs Tammy Baldwin‘s office in Beloit) over at the results party at Denali’s, hosted by the restaurant’s owner Eric Newnham. It soon became a victory party for just about every candidate for which we’d pushed. The voters re-elected Tammy, who will join her compatriots as part of the first Democratic majority in the House in 12 years.

We also celebrated Jim Doyle‘s substantial victory. This is great news not only for Wisconsin but also my stepbrother Dan Schooff, who ran Jim’s campaign. And for Dan’s wife and kids who will get to see him again now that the election is over.

Chuck Benedict (our assemblyman, who ran unopposed) and Judy Robson (our state senator, who trounced her opponent) both showed up at the party and made excellent acceptance speeches. Judy’s son Matt—who was in my brother Mark’s class, a year behind me—introduced her to a huge round of applause. At that moment, we only had hope, but this morning we know the Democrats retook the Wisconsin senate, which makes Judy the new Senate majority leader.

The only low points in the night were the narrow defeat of Kathleen Falk for attorney general and the approvals of the anti-gay marriage amendment and the (non-binding) recommendation to bring back the death penalty in a state that hasn’t had it for over 150 years. Republicans used the referendums as wedge issues, hoping to drive conservative voters to the polls. They succeeded in passing the referendums, but it wasn’t enough to put them in office too. Still, the advocates from Fair Wisconsin who joined us at the party were understandably crushed.

Overall, a fantastic night, and one in which I was proud and happy to have played my miniscule part.