Democrats have flipped their 44th legislative seat since the 2016 election tonight, taking over a Republican-held state senate seat in northwest Wisconsin.
In the state’s first state Senate district, Democratic businessman Caleb Frostman defeated Republican state Rep. André Jacque.
In the 42nd state assembly district, Republican Jon Plumer was far ahead of Democrat Ann Groves; both candidates were local elected officials in the city of Lodi, but Republicans had attacked Groves over jabs she’d made on social media. Voters in both districts had strongly supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Democrats had gone to court to force Gov. Scott Walker (R) to call the elections, which came after he publicly worried about “blue wave” hitting the state. The victories will reduce Republicans to a 18-15 majority in the Senate, though Wisconsin’s GOP-drawn map is the subject of a legal challenge at the Supreme Court.
Both parties had used the special elections to try out tactics for this November, when Democrats hope to unseat Walker, and Republicans hope to defeat Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). But the Frostman victory capped off a strong streak for Baldwin’s party, after it flipped another Trump-leaning senate seat in January and took one of the state’s Supreme Court seats in April.