County voters to face full ballot Tuesday

JEFFERSON — Jefferson County-area voters will face a full ballot when they go to the polls Tuesday for the general election.

Races for governor and other statehouse offices, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, state Assembly and elected county offices will be decided.

There also are several area school districts and communities holding referendums on Tuesday. The following outlines the ballot:


Democrat U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin faces a challenge against Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir.

All of Jefferson County falls within the 5th Congressional District currently served by U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Menomonee Falls. He is opposed by Democrat Tom Palzewicz in his bid for re-election.


Topping the state ballot is the gubernatorial race, with incumbent Republicans Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch squaring off against Democratic challenger Tony Evers and Mandella Barnes.

Others vying for the top administrative post include: Libertarian Party candidate Phillip Anderson and running mate Patrick Baird, Darrell L. Castle and running mate Scott N. Bradley, Wisconsin Green Party candidate Michael J. White and Tiffany Anderson, Independent candidate Maggie Turnbull and Wil Losch and Wisconsin Party candidate Arnie Enz.

Attorney General

State Attorney General Brad Schimel is running for re-election. The Republican is being opposed by Democrat Josh Kaul and Constitution Party member Terry Larson.

Secretary of State

Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette is facing a challenge from Republican Jay Schroeder.

State Treasurer

On the ballot for state treasurer are Republican Travis Hartwig, Democrat Sarah Godlewski and Constitution Party member Andrew Zuelke.

State Senate

State 13th District Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is facing opposition by Democrat Michelle Zah Tuesday, while District 15 incumbent Sen. Janis Ringhand, a Democrat, is unopposed in her bid for a new term.

State Assembly

Republican state Assembly Rep. Cody Horlacher, R-Mukwonago, is opposed by Democrat Brandon White of Jefferson for his 33rd Assembly District seat.

District 33 covers the cities of Fort Atkinson and Jefferson; the Towns of Hebron, Jefferson, Oakland, Palmyra, Sullivan, and a portion of the Town of Koshkonong; and the Villages of Palmyra and Sullivan in Jefferson County. Continuing east, the district extends into the Waukesha County towns of Eagle and Mukwonago, and the Walworth County towns of LaGrange and Troy.

State Assembly District 37 Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown, is unopposed in a bid for re-election.

District 37 covers Waterloo, Watertown and the Town of Ixonia in Jefferson County, as well as parts of Columbia, Dane and Dodge counties, including Watertown.

In the 38th Assembly District, Republican incumbent state Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc is not seeking re-election. Republican Barbara Dittrich and Democrat Melissa Winker, both of Oconomowoc, are vying for the seat.

The 38th District includes the municipalities of Medina, Deerfield, Christiana, Lake Mills, Waterloo, Milford, Aztalan, Farmington, Watertown, Concord, Summit, Oconomowoc, Oconomowoc Lake and Lac LaBelle across Dane, Jefferson and Waukesha counties.

In the state’s 43rd Assembly District, Democrat Rep. Don Vruwink is being challenged by Republican Gabriel Szerlong. Both are from Milton.

District 43 includes all or portions of the towns of Cold Spring, Koshkonong and Sumner in Jefferson County, as well as portions of communities in Rock and Dane counties.

Jefferson County

Tuesday’s ballot contains an uncontested bid for re-election by Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath.

In addition, county Clerk of Circuit Court Carla Robinson is not running for a new term.Her chief deputy clerk, Republican Cindy Hamre Incha, is unopposed for the seat.



A nonbinding county referendum question in Jefferson County asks, “Should the state legislature enact proposed legislation that closes the ‘Dark Store’ property tax loophole, which currently allows a significant reduction in the property tax assessment valuation of the commercial property of regional and national retail stores, which may result in increased property taxes for other tax-paying entities, such as residential home owners and other business entities and/or cuts in essential services provided by an effected municipality?”

Opponents to dark store tax loopholes say they are used by big box retailers to reduce their property taxes by having properties appraised as if they were vacant or “dark” stores. That results in a lower tax assessment for them.

What then happens, they say, is that the burden for those property taxes is shifted to residential property taxpayers. Municipalities must raise property tax levies to pay for services, which are also used by those same commercial and manufacturing entities.

The question is how is commercial or manufacturing property valued? In applying the dark store tax loophole, companies push to have those properties assessed in comparison with nearby stores that are vacant. They argue that the newer properties also could become empty quickly. Opponents say those vacated properties used for comparison might not have had commercial potential in the first place.

A League of Wisconsin Municipalities analysis of 12 communities concluded that homeowners could see their property taxes increase by 8 percent or more if commercial and manufacturing property values fall by 50 percent as a result of the loopholes.


Edgerton School District electors are being asked two referendum questions, one to approve a $40.6 million building referendum related to various construction and renovation projects and a second, an operational referendum to exceed revenue limits.

On the ballot, question 1 will read: “Shall the School District of Edgerton, Dane, Jefferson and Rock counties, Wisconsin, be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $40,600,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and improvement program consisting of: the construction of an addition and related reconfiguration and renovations at Community Elementary School; renovations at the high school, including the science labs, commons and office; districtwide building infrastructure and capital maintenance improvements, safety and security upgrades and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures, and equipment?”

Question 2 states: “Shall the School District of Edgerton, Dane, Jefferson and Rock counties, Wisconsin, be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $1.25 million beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of supporting additional space, recruiting and retaining staff, and enhancing educational opportunities?”

Johnson Creek

Residents in the Village of Johnson Creek will cast ballots on a nonbinding referendum that states: “Should the village board enact an ordinance authorizing and permitting all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to be operated on village streets?”


In the School District of Jefferson, an operational referendum question will be asking residents to authorize the district to exceed state revenue limits on a recurring basis to maintain school programs and staffing at existing levels.

The question on the ballot will read: “Shall the School District of Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by up to $775,000 for the 2019-20 school year and by up to an additional $775,000 per year for each of the 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years for a total of up to $3.1 million for the 2022-23 school year and thereafter, for recurring purposes consisting of maintaining reasonable class sizes, providing educational programming, maintaining facilities and addressing safety and security needs?”

Lake Mills

Two questions are on the ballot for a building referendum in the Lake Mills School District.

Question 1 seeks $6.9 million for an academic addition, remodeling and improvements at Lake Mills High School. This includes six additional classrooms, library renovation, and renovation to the Family & Consumer Education, Technical Education and Agricultural Education classrooms.

Question 2 is requesting $2.49 million for improvements and construction of a new outdoor multipurpose facility at the High School. This includes improvements to the existing outdoor athletic areas and construction and equipping of a multi-purpose outdoor facility at the high school.


In the Whitewater Unified School District, the operational referendum question reads: “Shall the Whitewater Unified School District, Jefferson, Rock and Walworth counties, Wisconsin, be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $2 million for the 2019-20 school year, by $2.8 million for the 2020-21 school year, by $3.6 million for the 2021-22 school year, and by $4.4 million for the 2022-23 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of the following: maintaining targeted class sizes, maintaining student support and mental health services, maintaining comprehensive instructional and co-curricular programs, and maintaining technology, safety, and facilities infrastructure?”


The Watertown Unified School District operational referendum question asks for permission from electors to exceed the revenue limit by an average of $3.3 million per year for each of the next five years. It reads as follows:

“Shall the Watertown Unified School District, Jefferson and Dodge Counties, Wisconsin, be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $2 million for the 2018-19 school year, by $3.5 million per year for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, by $3.7 million for the 2021-22 school year and by $3.9 million for the 2022-23 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of partially funding educational programs, services, and building maintenance?”

All polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.