I feel pretty convinced that neither Ellen Berz nor Rhonda Lanford would have participated in (let alone prevailed in) judicial elections that would not have allowed the playing of the "Walker appointee" card. I say that only because we will see sitting court commisisoners and/or sitting Assistant District Attorneys and/or sitting municipal judges running for those open seats-- folks who do not run against sitting judges as a matter of professional respect and courtesy.
This is the problem. The general public does not pay a lot of attention to county judge elections and votes are cast on very flimsy impressions (like "Walker appointed her"). In reality, voters do not know these candidates either personally or by reputation. There's not enough money in these elections to counter the flimsy impressions, and when the votes are counted, it shows.
By the same reasoning, I doubt the general public knows a thing about Remington's ancestry so his control of his seat can't be credited to that factor. Lots of Dane County voters were not even alive during the Kastenmeier era.
Who holds these seats is pretty much up to who runs, then. If progressive voters want to keep a good judge (like Allen or St. John) we need to work together and dissuade ambitious careerists in a polite way. Apparently professional courtesy is a dead concept. I was quite dismayed when Allen drew an opponent, and while I knew less about St. John I saw the same dynamic at work.
When courtesy fails, it all falls back on how much money can be raised to conduct a campaign. The answer seems to be "not enough."
If the Teaps want to run a candidate against a progressive candidate, of course that's perfectly fair. But they don't seem able to put up any candidates at all in Dane County.
Walker's just being a big baby, and it won't change a thing around here. He's only got two years to go, anyway. I'm of the opinion he doesn't want a second term. The governorship has turned out not to be as much fun as he fantasized.