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State Politics|Election 2013

Adam Neylon carries close Assembly race in Waukesha County

By Patrick Marley and Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 19, 2013 0

Village of Pewaukee window cleaning business owner Adam Neylon won Tuesday's Republican primary for the 98th Assembly District, all but guaranteeing he will take the Waukesha County seat in the April 2 general election because no Democrat is running.

Neylon, 28, beat out four others - Village of Pewaukee Police Chief Ed Baumann; construction project manager Todd Greenwald of the Village of Pewaukee; Marquette University graduate student Matt Morzy of Waukesha; and Jeanne Tarantino of Waukesha, the former chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Neylon led his closest opponent, Baumann, by 30 votes out of more than 5,200 cast. That means the official canvass will be closely watched. If the lead holds up in the canvass, the close margin would raise the possibility of a recount because candidates can get the state to pay for recounts in instances when the margin is less than half a percentage point.

The district includes the City of Pewaukee, Village of Pewaukee, Sussex and the northern portion of the City of Waukesha.

The general election is April 2, but only the name of the GOP primary winner will appear on the ballot because no Democrats or independents registered.

The election will boost the GOP's majority in the Assembly to 60-39.

Neylon, 28, said creating jobs is his top priority, and he backs efforts to ease business regulations and cut taxes. He favors putting tax limits in the state constitution.

He also promotes a plan to have candidates who challenge incumbents in recall elections pay the cost of running the elections if they lose. He said he supports expanding voucher schools and opposes abortion, including in cases of rape and incest.

Tarantino was the early front-runner in the race, but her campaign faced challenges after she said under oath in December she thought she was moved out of the lieutenant governor's office in September because of her age and gender. She was transferred to the Department of Workforce Development, but she left that job so she could run for the Assembly.

Tarantino made the remarks in a deposition over a dispute in her divorce case. She apologized for them but did not retract them. Kleefisch endorsed Tarantino five days after being informed of her testimony.

Before the election, Tarantino said she believed she was the victim of a smear campaign over her deposition, but said she could not discuss her testimony because of the legal dispute.

A domino effect led to the need for a special election to fill the Assembly seat. In August, Rich Zipperer (R-City of Pewaukee) stepped down from the Senate to become Gov. Scott Walker's deputy chief of staff. Rep. Paul Farrow (R-Village of Pewaukee) was elected to the Senate in a December special election, creating the opening for his Assembly seat.


Assembly, GOP primary

District 98

(All units reporting)

  • Adam Neylon - 2,003
    Ed Baumann - 1,973
    Jeanne Tarantino - 773
    Matt Morzy - 253
    Todd Greenwald - 215
Patrick Marley thumbnail
About Patrick Marley

Patrick Marley covers state government and state politics. He is the author, with Journal Sentinel reporter Jason Stein, of "More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions and the Fight for Wisconsin.”

Don Behm thumbnail
About Don Behm

Don Behm reports on Milwaukee County government, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the environment and communities in southeastern Wisconsin. He has won reporting awards for investigations of Great Lakes water pollution, Milwaukee's cryptosporidiosis outbreak, and the deaths of three sewer construction workers in a Menomonee Valley methane explosion.

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