Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Maria Lazar announced Monday that she will not be running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2019.
“This summer, my focus was on my husband and children, and not on a judicial election. That made my decision not to run in 2019 much easier,” Lazar said in a release. “For me, family, faith, and respect for the law are three preeminent driving forces that propel me forward. Simply put, this is not the year for me to seek a new judicial office.”
Lazar, who describes herself as an admirer of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has chosen instead to endorse Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Hagedorn and Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer, both from Waukesha, are the only announced candidates. Neubauer is perceived to be the liberal candidate in the race while Hagedorn is backed by conservatives.
“I am acquainted with both individuals. I have had an opportunity to meet with both candidates, as well as having observed their work, their work ethic, their judicial philosophies and their views for the future of Wisconsin’s judicial system,” Lazar said. “Both individuals are well respected amongst the judiciary and are thoughtful and deliberate jurists. A careful analysis of each candidate’s judicial philosophy, however, leads me to the inevitable conclusion that Judge Brian Hagedorn has a more compatible view and a similar respect for the rule of law and our Constitutions.”
Hagedorn issued a statement Monday accepting Lazar’s endorsement.
“I am thankful for Judge Lazar’s support and her continuing service to the people of Wisconsin,” Hagedorn wrote in an email. “Wisconsin citizens are excited and enthusiastic to make sure partisan politics has no place on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. As a justice on the Supreme Court, I will be committed to defending the rule of law, upholding the Constitution, and protecting the public. Judge Lazar shares this philosophy and joins thousands of other Wisconsinites lining up behind my campaign. I’m honored to have her support, and look forward to continuing to work with her to build a strong judiciary committed to the law.”
The election on April 2 will be to fill the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who is retiring at the end of her term and not seeking re-election. If more than two candidates run for the Supreme Court, the primary election will be February 19. The deadline for filing is January 2.