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Voter turnout high in North Shore

State Assembly candidate Tia Torhorst does some last-minute campaigning on Lake Drive in Shorewood Tuesday afternoon. Torhorst, of Shorewood, lost her bid to represent the 10th Assembly District to Milwaukee County Board Supervisor David Bowen.

State Assembly candidate Tia Torhorst does some last-minute campaigning on Lake Drive in Shorewood Tuesday afternoon. Torhorst, of Shorewood, lost her bid to represent the 10th Assembly District to Milwaukee County Board Supervisor David Bowen. Photo By Jeff Rumage

Aug. 13, 2014

Whitefish Bay — Local primary elections in local elections are notorious for low participation, but in the North Shore, voters doubled the statewide voter turnout prediction.

Statewide voter turnout was predicted to be 15 percent, which every North Shore community beat. North Shore communities in Milwaukee County doubled the statewide voter turnout prediction.

Mordecai Lee, a former state legislator and political science professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said Tuesday's turnout results are in keeping with a strong voting tradition in the North Shore. He said the propensity to vote is in relationship to higher income, age and level of education.

It doesn't hurt that there were contested primaries in the 10th Assembly District in Shorewood and the 6th Congressional District, which includes Mequon, Thiensville and River Hills. State Sen. Glenn Grothmann won the three-way Republican primary to represent the 6th Congressional District.

"A congressional race is a marquee race. A vacant congressional seat comes around once in a generation sometimes," he said.

Here's the voter turnout percentage of each local community:

·Shorewood: 34.2 percent

·Whitefish Bay: 32.7 percent

·Brown Deer: 32 percent

·Fox Point: 32.6 percent

·Bayside: 32.6 percent

·River Hills: 34 percent

·Glendale: 34.4 percent

·Mequon: 22.4 percent

·Thiensville: 26 percent

North Shore turnout was higher in Milwaukee County, most likely due to the high-profile Milwaukee County Sheriff's race. The race was so close Tuesday night that Democratic candidate Chris Moews refused to concede, opting instead to wait for the remaining 6,000 absentee ballots to be tallied. Those ballots were eventually counted, and Clarke emerged the victor.

In his election night speech, Clarke said it was hard-fought election with heavy outside donations and plenty of mudslinging. Moews, a Milwaukee police lieutenant, had the support of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and other Democratic leaders. Clarke thanked this supporters, most of whom — despite his Democratic ballot affiliation — are on the political right.

"Without the air support of talk radio, this would have been really difficult to do," he said.

Here's who each community supported in the Sheriff's race, and the degree to which they supported that candidate:

·Shorewood: Moews, 79 percent

·Whitefish Bay: Moews, 56 percent

·Brown Deer: Clarke, 59 percent

·Fox Point: Moews, 58 percent

·Bayside: Moews, 56 percent

·Glendale: Moews, 55 percent

·River Hills: Clarke, 57 percent

The majority of North Shore communities supported Moews in the sheriff's race. Lee said the North Shore election results may signal a lack of support from upper-middle-class voters.

"His behavior in the last four years may be a little over the top and gauche for the North Shore," Lee said. "In a sense, the North Shore voted one way, and the county voted another way. This may be an early warning sign to Clarke to tone it down and stick to his knitting."

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