Don_Pridemore_FILE_PHOTO_FROM_CAMPAIGN

Don Pridemore

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Friday voted to allow on the ballot a former lawmaker running for a vacancy in the state Senate, rejecting a challenge that he doesn't live in the district.

Former state Rep. Don Pridemore, a Republican, filed to run for an April 6 special election to fill the state Senate seat that is vacant due to Scott Fitzgerald's election to Congress. But Pridemore's filing was challenged by someone who alleges the Hartford address Pridemore put on his nomination papers is not where he actually lives. The complaint alleged that Pridemore lives outside of the Senate district.

Pridemore told the elections commission that the address on his nomination papers is an apartment that he rents in the Senate district. He provided a copy of his rental lease.

The commission, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, voted unanimously to allow Pridemore to be on the ballot.

Pridemore is one of three Republicans who filed to run for the seat. The others are state Rep. John Jagler and Todd Menzel, who owns a towing business. Democrat Melissa Winker, a teacher who previously ran for Assembly, also filed along with independents Spencer Zimmerman and Ben Schmitz. A Feb. 16 primary will narrow the field to the top vote-getter from each party.

Pridemore, 74, served in the state Assembly from 2005 to 2015 when he retired.

Republicans hold a 20-12 majority in the Senate with this one vacancy.

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