September 17, 2015
State Appeals Court Judge Rebecca Bradley, whose past judicial campaign drew support from Republican Party committees and prominent GOP campaign contributors, plans to run for next spring’s open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Bradley was appointed a Milwaukee County circuit judge in 2012 by Republican Gov. Scott Walker to fill a vacancy. She won her own six-year term on the court in 2013, and was then appointed to the State Court of Appeals by Walker in May.
Bradley raised more than $181,000 in 2013 to win her circuit court seat, mostly from a $102,500 loan she made to her campaign. Among her committee contributions was $1,060 from three county, congressional and state Republican Party committees, and a $2,500 contribution from Supreme Court Chief Justice Pat Roggensack, one of the four conservatives who control the seven-member court.
Individual contributions to Bradley from longtime givers to conservative and Republican political candidates include:
- Michael W. Grebe, of Milwaukee, leader of the conservative Bradley Foundation, $3,000;
- Retired banker George F. Kasten, of Vero Beach, Fla., $1,500;
- George and Susan Mitchell, of Whitefish Bay, owners of the Mitchell Co. and longtime advocates of the state’s school voucher program, $2,000;
- Richard Esenberg, of Mequon, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, $750;
- Fred Young Jr., of Racine, retired owner of Young Radiator, $750;
- Car dealer Russ M. Darrow Jr., of West Bend, $500.
Bradley and two others so far, Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Joe Donald, are vying for the seat currently held by Justice N. Patrick Crooks, who is retiring after his current 10-year term on the high court. Crooks is often a swing vote on controversial decisions before the court, which is already controlled 4-3 by conservatives.
A Feb. 16 primary will be held to narrow the field to two candidates for the April 5 general election.