Democrats in Northern Wisconsin declared victory in a state Senate special election on Tuesday, the party’s 43rd red-to-blue state legislative flip since President Donald Trump stepped into the White House last year.
Caleb Frostman, the Democrat running in Wisconsin State Senate District 1, claimed victory in Tuesday’s election and Frostman’s campaign manager, Hannah Akbik, told CNN that Republican Andre Jacque conceded the race in a phone call. Jacque did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The district, which stretches up past Green Bay along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, has traditionally been Republican, with the GOP incumbent who ran in 2014 winning with 62% of the vote.
It was not all good news for Democrats in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Ann Groves Lloyd, the Democrat running in the special election in Wisconsin State Assembly District 42, conceded to Republican Jon Plumer, according to Lloyd’s spokeswoman.
“I congratulate Jon on running a great race and thank the voters of the 42nd Assembly District for their support,” Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brad Courtney said Tuesday. “Hard-working Wisconsin families are seeing the real results of our bold conservative reforms.”
EMILY’s List, an organization that recruits and funds pro-choice Democrats, endorsed and spent money on Lloyd’s behalf.
Both of the special elections were created when the incumbents were appointed to positions in the Walker administration. Initially, Walker said he would wait to fill these seats until November, but he was sued by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, former Attorney General Eric Holder’s organization, and Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds ruled in March that Walker had to hold special elections.
“I want to congratulate Caleb Frostman for winning a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate,” Holder said on Tuesday. “Scott Walker and his Republican allies gerrymandered this district for their own partisan benefit, but the citizens of Wisconsin are clearly speaking out this year to demand a state government that better represents their values.”
Frostman’s win represents the 43rd state legislative seat Democrats have flipped since Trump took office in January 2017, a trend that national Democratic operatives argue shows voters are prepared to rebuke the President in November.
The 43 wins for Democrats have not been a net gain, however. Democrats, in some cases, have lost state legislative seats, like in California where voters recalled Democrat Josh Newman and replaced her with Republican Ling Ling Chang earlier this month.
The Democratic Governor’s Association, though, cast Frostman’s win as bad news for Walker, who is running for reelection in 2018.
“Tonight’s special election win for Democrats in Wisconsin is more bad news and yet another ‘wake up call’ for Scott Walker, and he knows it,” DGA Executive Director Elisabeth Pearson said Tuesday. “That’s why he was willing to break the law to avoid these elections being held at all.