January 3, 2018

Two state appeals court judges are on the April 2 ballot to replace retiring Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn, who are both judges on the District II Court of Appeals based in Waukesha, were the only candidates to file paperwork to get on the ballot by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

Neubauer, of Racine, has served on the four-member appeals court since 2007.  Her current six-year term expires in 2020. She is a former attorney for the Foley & Lardner law firm and also worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in Madison.

Neubauer’s latest campaign finance report filed last July shows she raised about $358,300 during the first six months of 2018, including a $250,000 personal loan from Neubauer. She is backed by Democrats. Among her campaign contributors were former Democratic Gov. James Doyle, former Democratic Assembly Speaker Tom Loftus, and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett.

Hagedorn, of Oconomowoc, was appointed to the appeals court in 2015 by GOP Gov. Scott Walker. Hagedorn was elected to a six-year term on the appeals court in 2017. He served as Walker’s chief lawyer in the governor’s first four years in office starting in 2011 and was one of the architects of Act 10. Previously, he was an assistant state attorney general.

Hagedorn’s latest campaign finance report filed last July shows he raised $50 during the first six months of 2018.

Abrahamson, who has been on the high court since 1979 and also served as its chief justice, announced late last year she would not seek another 10-year term for health reasons.

Abrahamson is one of the seven-member court’s liberal members. Conservatives currently have a 4-3 majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.