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Primary could be first step in Democrats push to regain Senate control

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin Democrats need to gain two seats this fall to regain control of the state Senate.

The Republicans now have an 18-15 majority in the upper house. With 4 GOP incumbents stepping down, Democrats hope they can take at least half those seats and end the total control Republicans have had in both houses since 2011.

Voters in southwest Wisconsin will choose a nominee a week from Tuesday for one of those Senate posts, as two Democrats hope to replace long-time Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center.

Spring Green lawyer Pat Bomhack and former state D-O-T budget director Ernie Wittwer are competing for the right to go up against Assembly Republican Howard Marklein of Spring Green in November.

Marklein will have a tremendous financial edge, with $285,000 in his campaign fund as of last month. Wittwer had $54,000, and Bomhack $23,000.

However, former legislator and UW-Milwaukee political scientist Mordecai Lee says it will be a "real race," due to the moderate nature of Schultz's district. Lee tells the AP it depends on whether the Democratic finalist can portray Marklein as an "out of the mainstream conservative."

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)