UP: Kathleen Falk. Dane County's executive faced a strong challenge from conservative Nancy Mistele, who deftly exploited her missteps and vulnerabilities. Yet she handily won election to a fourth term, garnering 59% of the vote, mostly by keeping her cool and asserting her goals and achievements. Falk says the race left her "energized," but that's pretty much her default position.
DOWN: Dane County DA's office. Former prosecutor John Norsetter is chastised by a judge for failing to investigate or pass on information he received in 1995 that Ralph Armstrong's brother Stephen confessed to a 1980 Madison murder for which Ralph was convicted (a story first reported by Isthmus). The judge also faults Norsetter for ordering tests that destroyed evidence that may have exonerated Ralph Armstrong, who remains in prison, awaiting a new trial. Steve Armstrong died in 2005. The judge has not issued a ruling on the matter.