Madison’s Melissa Sargent will advance to the November general election as a candidate for the 16th Senate District after defeating a primary challenger Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Sargent, who represented the 48th Assembly District, defeated Monona Grove School Board President Andrew McKinney in the Democratic primary. She received 27,717 votes (76.8%), compared to 8,328 for McKinney (23.1%). There were 34 write-in votes (0.1%).

“It was truly an honor to be chosen by voters in the August primary as the Democratic candidate for the 16th Senate District,” Sargent said. “At the same time, I also know that much work remains. Not only is it a presidential election year with Wisconsin being a key swing state, a year in which we must work to campaign and protect our democracy in a pandemic, and a vital time for state legislative districts as we work to save the governor’s veto power here in Wisconsin, but it is also a vital time to elect progressive and forward-thinking leaders from all across our state.”

McKinney, a resident of the Town of Cottage Grove, congratulated Sargent on her win.

“We ran a poor man’s, grassroots campaign,” he said. “We had very little money, no texting, no phone calls, no mailings and no meetings, but we had each other. My wife and I, with the help of our family, friends, community and volunteers, were able to socially distance talk with people to get my platform out. During this COVID-19 and going against the heavy machine, we were able to receive 8,328 votes in the primary, which was a win for us.”

Sargent said the state and nation are facing unprecedented times, and now is not the time for partisan rhetoric.

“Whether it be COVID-19 response efforts, addressing the disparities and inequities in our state or beyond, I will continue to support policies that ensure the health and safety of folks across Wisconsin,” she said. “Fundamental to people’s well-being during these challenging times are the policies that I have always championed.

“I am proud to continue to lead on issues such as raising the minimum wage, investing in public education, securing accessible and quality health care for all, addressing disparities and inequalities, reducing gun violence, legalizing cannabis and more.”

McKinney promised he would be back on the political stage.

“This doesn’t stop us, because there is still work to be done,” he said. “The McKinneys will fight on, as the people’s choice will continue to do the right thing. We will take this momentum and run again; our constituents have not heard the last from us.”

Sargent will face off against Republican Scott Barker in the general election. The winner will succeed Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, who is retiring.

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