Race to replace Voiland draws a crowd on ballot

Four candidates are vying to succeed controversial judge in most contested spring court race in the state
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
Ozaukee Press staff

With four candidates on the ballot, the race to succeed Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Joseph Voiland is the most contested court contest in the state this spring and, perhaps, in the history of the county.

Announcing his candidacy last week was Mequon resident James Wawrzyn, an attorney and shareholder in the Milwaukee-based law firm von Briesen & Roper.

Wawrzyn is campaigning on his public and private sector experience. He worked on the policy staff of Wisconsin governors Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum, focusing on criminal justice and homeland security policy, and was committee clerk to the state Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Veterans and Military Affairs and Government Reform.

He was also a law clerk for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox, who has endorsed him.

“As residents of Ozaukee County know, we live in an amazing community with dedicated public servants,” Wawrzyn said. “I look forward to again contributing to efficient government operations that fit the needs of the residents and prioritize public safety.”

Also vying for Branch II judge are Cedarburg residents:

• Steve Cain, who was elected Mid-Moraine Municipal Court judge in 2009 and is a partner in the Cedarburg law firm Stippich, Selin & Cain and specializes in personal injury law and general civil and criminal litigation. 

He also represents several local governments.

• Angela Foy, a share-holder in the Milwaukee law firm Halling & Cayo who specializes in family law.

• Mark Larson, a partner in the Milwaukee law firm Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson who specializes in medical malpractice and general liability law. 

  Voiland, who in 2013 upset veteran Judge Tom Wolfgram by focusing on Wolfgram’s decision to sign the Gov. Scott Walker recall petition, filed a campaign registration statement last month indicating he would run for re-election but weeks later announced he was not seeking another term. He has endorsed Cain.

Voiland’s decision not to run came after a tumultuous first term in which he sparked two investigations of the Ozaukee County court system when he accused fellow court officials of criminal misconduct in office. An administrative investigation ordered by Chief Judge of Wisconsin’s Third Judicial District Jennifer Dorow, which was concluded last year, found no basis for those allegations.

Voiland is now suing Dorow over the investigation.

Of the 29 circuit court judge races in Wisconsin this spring, only three are contested, and of those, only the Ozaukee County contest has more than two candidates.

That means that the Ozaukee County race is the only court contest that will require a Feb. 19 primary election. The two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the April 2 general election.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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