Jagler wins state senate seat formerly held by Rep. Scott Fitzgerald

John Jagler spoke with NBC15 shortly after the unofficial results came in.
John Jagler spoke with NBC15 shortly after the unofficial results came in.(John Jagler)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - BREAKING UPDATE: Republican John Jagler wins the seat previous held by now congressman Scott Fitzgerald, the former state senate majority leader.

See full election results here.


Voters across several counties cast their ballots Tuesday in a special election to fill the State Senate District 13 seat left by U.S. Congressman Scott Fitzgerald.

Four contenders are after the seat in a district spanning across counties like Dodge, Jefferson and Dane. NBC15 spoke with each candidate early Tuesday, as each waited for the results at their homes.

John Jagler, a Republican, is a fifth-term member of the state Assembly, who says he wants a bigger role in effecting change.

“What it [takes] to win tonight will be all the work that we did before,” he said. “You can’t win on Election Day if you don’t win every day. That was the goal of this campaign.”

Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Melissa Winker is a teacher with 18 years experience, who says she wants to run for the children of Wisconsin.

“It’s going to take folks to move beyond political past, political ideology and really about what’s right for our state—fiscally, educationally, environmentally,” she said.

As for the third-party candidates, there’s Spencer Zimmerman with the Trump Conservative Party, as well as Ben Schmitz, who’s running under the American Solidarity Party. Zimmerman is currently a driver with a local limousine company and has served in the U.S. Air Force.

“It’s going to take enough people really looking at the election, not just voting for whoever’s name is first,” Zimmerman said.

Schmitz is the owner of a software consulting company.

Schmitz described his last message to voters: “Just because you think the system’s always been the way it is, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can start change. We can start a movement by gaining some momentum.”

Rep. Fitzgerald, a Republican, had represented state senate district 13 since 1995.

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