Democrat Jill Billings has bested local government watchdog David Drewes in the race to represent the state's 95th Assembly District.
Billings, a La Crosse County supervisor, took 72 percent of the votes. She campaigned on a promise to bring her local experience to bear on job creation, education and tax fairness.
Drewes, a retired insurance and iron salesman, positioned himself as the common sense candidate who supports small government and the controversial changes brought by Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled Legislature.
The seat, representing the city of La Crosse and small parts of the towns of Campbell and Shelby, has been vacant since Jennifer Shilling stepped down Aug. 26 to fill the state Senate seat she won a recall election against Sen. Dan Kapanke.
Voters have elected Democrats to represent the district since 1974.
The election won't change the balance of power in Madison, where Republicans hold a 59-38 majority in the Assembly.