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GOP gains state Senate supermajority with Knodl win in special election

Source: Wisconsin Legislature

GOP gains state Senate supermajority with Knodl win in special election

April 5, 2023 8:34 AM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska

MADISON, Wis. (Civic Media) – The Republican Party in Wisconsin now owns a supermajority in the state Senate after Rep. Dan Knodl won in a special election for an open seat in the legislature.

Knodl’s race in Wisconsin’s 8th Senate District was called by statewide media outlets Wednesday morning, with Knodl, a Republican member of the state Assembly since 2008, defeating attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin, a Democrat.

The 8th Senate District covers parts of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties, which contain Milwaukee suburbs north of the city. The seat was vacated when Republican Alberta Darling retired after 30 years of service in the Senate in 2022.

Republicans now control 22 seats in the state Senate, enough to override vetoes by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. The GOP is two seats shy of a supermajority in the state Assembly, but could override vetoes by Evers if two Democratic Assembly members are not present for a vote.

According to the state constitution, the win also gives Republicans the ability to impeach civil officers of the state, including the Governor, for corrupt conduct in office or criminal conduct. A simple majority is needed in the Assembly to move on to the state Senate, where 2/3 of the Senators can vote to convict the elected official and remove them from office. Supermajorities also allow for removing justices and judges and expulsion of members of the legislature, as the threshold is 2/3 of the elected body to remove elected officials, although Republicans do not have a supermajority in the Assembly.

Knodl will serve out the remainder of the term, which expires in 2024.

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