Daniel Knodl (R) wins special general election for Wisconsin State Senate District 8, Senate Republicans regain supermajority

Daniel Knodl (R) defeated Jodi Habush Sinykin (D) in the special general election for Wisconsin State Senate District 8 on April 4, 2023.

Knodl received 50.9% of the vote to Habush Sinykin’s 49.1%. Once Knodl is sworn in, Senate Republicans will have a 22-member supermajority, giving the party the votes necessary to speed up the legislative process by suspending Senate rules and to hold impeachment trials of state officials.

Before the election, Republicans represented the district since 1993, following Alberta Darling’s (R) election to the state Senate in 1992. Darling retired on Dec. 1, 2022. Her retirement reduced Senate Republicans’ 22-member supermajority to a 21-member majority. The election determined whether Republicans regained a supermajority.

Wisconsin has a divided government, meaning Republicans control the legislature, while Tony Evers (D) holds the governorship. In Wisconsin, a two-thirds majority in each chamber is required to override a gubernatorial veto. The state House is split 64 Republicans to 35 Democrats, while the state Senate was split 21 Republicans to 11 Democrats prior to Knodl’s win.

Knodl is a small business owner and has served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly since 2009. He represents District 24. Habush Sinykin is an environmental lawyer and small business owner.

During redistricting, the 8th District was redrawn to include portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties. Milwaukee County voted for Barack Obama (D), Hillary Clinton (D), and Joe Biden (D) in the 2012 through 2020 presidential elections. Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties voted for Mitt Romney (R) and Donald Trump (R) during the same time period.