Underly, Kerr Advance in State Superintendent Race

Feb 17, 2021

Voting in Rhinelander last November.
Credit Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Deborah Kerr and Jill Underly received the most votes in Tuesday’s primary election for state superintendent.

Kerr is the former superintendent in Brown Deer. She was the only candidate with widespread conservative support, but said she’s a Democrat.

Underly is the Pecatonica Area School District superintendent. She was endorsed by the state teachers’ union.

The two will square off in April in the race to become Wisconsin’s top education official.

Wisconsin’s Chief Election Official Megan Wolfe said February primaries don’t see the voter-turnout general elections do.

“The February election is historically a very low turnout election, averaging around 10 percent voter turnout,” she said. “This is in contrast to a November election where we can see upwards of 70-percent eligible voter turnout.”

While February and April elections don’t draw the voter turnout out November elections do, Wolfe said that doesn’t make them less important.

These elections are geared toward local races.

“So of course, we encourage everyone to participate, because in the February and the April elections these are the contests that determine who’s going to be in office in your community,” she said.

The next election will be April 6.