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Vox Sentences: The Democratic momentum continues in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Democrats win big in a state race that has important national implications; the US arrests a former CIA agent suspected of spying for the Chinese government.

Democrats’ Wisconsin win has national implications

Andy Manis/Getty Images
  • Wisconsin Democrats (and Democrats in general) netted a significant win in a special election for the state Senate last night, flipping the seat from red to blue. [Axios / Shane Savitsky]
  • The Democratic candidate, St. Croix County medical examiner Patty Schachtner, won a seat that Republicans had held for nearly two decades. [NYT / Julie Bosman]
  • Schachtner defeated state Rep. Adam Jarchow by about 9 points — a significant margin. Unlike past Democratic upsets in places like Alabama, many saw Jarchow as a solid Republican candidate who still lost his seat. [Washington Post / James Hohmann]
  • This happened in a district where the last Republican state senator won reelection by 26 points and Donald Trump won by a wide margin in 2016, which is why Democrats were so overjoyed at the win. [Wisconsin State Journal / Matthew DeFour and Molly Beck]
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quickly sounded the alarm, taking to Twitter to say the special election was a “wake up call.” [Politico / Louis Nelson]
  • The Wisconsin special election underscores a larger political trend: Democrats have been doing well in special elections at the state, federal, and local level ever since Trump entered office. That could bode well for the party during the 2018 midterms. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Republicans still control the Wisconsin state Senate, but if Democrats can recapture more seats in 2018, it could have a huge implication for 2020 congressional redistricting. Congressional maps drawn by Wisconsin Republicans during the last census are currently being challenged in the US Supreme Court, over accusations that they were gerrymandered to give Republicans the advantage. [Washington Post / James Hohmann]

An ex-CIA agent is suspected of spying for China

  • A former CIA officer named Jerry Chun Shing Lee was arrested earlier this week as he flew into the US from his home in Hong Kong, on suspicion of spying for the Chinese government. [Politico / Josh Meyer and Josh Gerstein]
  • The US government has been investigating Lee for the past six years, after numerous key CIA sources in China were either arrested or killed around 2012. [NYT / Adam Goldman]
  • Many in the agency began to blame the disappearances on a mole in their ranks, and investigators say they now believe Lee is that mole. He’s a naturalized US citizen who worked for the CIA from 1994 to 2007. He’s been living in Hong Kong since 2007. [BBC]
  • A court affidavit said US investigators had found two notebooks in a Hawaii hotel room Lee had stayed in containing classified intel, including some top-secret information. He was charged on a count of unlawfully possessing national defense information for these notebooks. [NPR / Scott Neuman]


  • Chelsea Manning’s Senate campaign is already making waves in Maryland, a state that is not used to political drama among Democrats. [Washington Post / Jenna Portnoy]
  • When none of your defense lawyers have faith in your innocence, do you still have the right to plead not guilty? That’s a question the US Supreme Court is trying to decide. [NPR / Nina Totenberg]
  • Astrology — it’s not just for New Age mystics anymore! Millennials apparently love it too. [Atlantic / Julie Beck]
  • A Whack-a-Mole engineer (yes, it’s a real thing) was accused of infecting popular carnival games with viruses. The story gets even crazier from there. [Mental Floss / Jake Rossen]


“Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers of swallowing the contents of a single-load laundry packet. Only use the packets for their intended use and be sure to store them up and away.” [Executive director of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Stephen Kaminski, imploring teens to please stop eating detergent]

Watch this: How voice actors bring audiobooks to life

An audiobook narrator explains her process — and reads our writing. [YouTube / Phil Edwards]

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