The Latest: Wisconsin court candidate spar in first debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Supreme Court debate (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer are accusing one another of being beholden to partisan interests in the race during the first of two debates.

The race is officially nonpartisan, but liberals are backing Neubauer and conservatives support Hagedorn.

Neubauer said during Friday’s debate that she has proven as a state appeals court judge that she is fair, impartial and independent. She said Hagedorn can’t be trusted because of his past work as former Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s attorney, law school blog post writings he made about constitutional issues and his founding of a private school that allows for expelling gay students.

Hagedorn says Neubauer is sending signals to liberal groups that are spending on her behalf. He says Neubauer is making “shameful” attacks.

The election is April 2.

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8:40 a.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn is launching a new television ad branding opponent Lisa Neubauer a tool for liberal groups hours before the two are scheduled to debate.

Hagedorn campaign adviser Stephan Thompson announced the ad Friday morning. Hagedorn is scheduled to debate Neubauer at 6:30 p.m. in Madison.

The spot warns that Neubauer will turn the court into a “political playground” for liberal special interests. Thompson says the ad will run statewide but isn’t saying how much it will cost.

Hagedorn and Neubauer are vying to replace retiring liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson in the April 2 election. The race is officially nonpartisan but conservatives back Hagedorn and liberals support Neubauer.

Conservatives currently control the court 4-3. A Neubauer victory would give liberals a chance at control in 2020.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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