© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Judge Brad Schimel hopes to hit right notes in Wisconsin Supreme Court race against Justice Ann Walsh Bradley

A man playing a guitar
Chuck Quirmbach
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Brad Schimel played guitar and sang with his band, as people arrived for the announcement that he's running for Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2025.

There's no state Supreme Court election in Wisconsin next year. But there is in 2025, as Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, considered part of the high court's liberal-leaning majority, is up for reelection, and says she plans to run for a fourth 10-year term.

Thursday night, former Republican state Attorney General Brad Schimel announced he's challenging Bradley for the state court seat, as Schimel hopes to scare off other potential conservative contenders.

Schimel said in 2024, a lot of politicians will be competing for headlines and campaign donations.

"With the presidential race and the U.S. Senate race sucking up all the oxygen for a good part of next year, we can't wait until next November to start. We can't announce in the summer when no one's paying attention," Schimel said during his campaign announcement speech.

A man speaking at a podium
Chuck Quirmbach
Brad Schimel speaks to supporters, and the news media, at Weldall Manufacturing in Waukesha. Wisconsin GOP Chairman Brian Schimming is standing just to the right of the podium in this photo.

Schimel also asked the 100 or so people in attendance at a metal products manufacturer in Waukesha to donate to his campaign. Odds are many millions of dollars will be spent in the next Supreme Court race, as it's expected to be like this year, for liberal or conservative control of the high court.

Schimel is now a Waukesha County judge, having been appointed to the job by lame-duck Gov. Scott Walker (R) after both men lost in the November 2018 elections.

It appears Schimel will be bringing a large amount of religion to his campaign. He told the crowd he's been praying for a couple months to prepare for the Supreme Court race.

"God, I don't know your will. Please guide me to do it. I ask just this, God, please, as I do this, don't let me be put to shame" is the prayer Schimel indicated he's been making.

But Schimel isn't afraid to sharply criticize Ann Walsh Bradley: "Now, she's the senior member of the liberal majority. And likely, the next chief justice. By the way, she's all in, on all the stuff that's happened so far."

Woman speaking into a microphone
WisconsinEye screenshot
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley asks a question during last month's oral arguments in a key legislative redistricting case.

Schimel said that includes firing State Courts Administrator Randy Koschnick, as the fourth liberal-leaning Justice Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in, in August.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which supported Protasiewicz's campaign, is already taking on Schimel, saying voters rejected him as attorney general after a single term, due to extreme politics and mismanagement.

The Supreme Court election is nearly 500 days away.

Related Content