Political analyst breaks down lieutenant governor's race

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Hours before the polls open, Rebecca Kleefisch was still on the campaign trail, ending her last-minute tour across the state in Brookfield Monday night. 

The former lieutenant governor says she is looking to unify the Republican party. And while the GOP primary for governor will be closely watched, there are, of course, other races on the ballot.

That includes Kleefisch's former elected position, lieutenant governor. 

Eight Republicans and two Democrats are vying for the office.

"The winner in this race will probably get in the 20s I'm guessing in terms of percentage of the vote, because it is so widely split," said David Cannon, UW-Madison professor. 

The race for lieutenant governor -- a role second in command to the governor. "It's a very analogist role," according to Cannon. 

You may not be familiar with all 10 candidates running for lieutenant governor. But David Cannon, a political science professor at UW-Madison, says the position can serve as a launch pad to higher office. 

"Two of the leading candidates in our primary, Rebecca Kleefisch and Mandela Barnes, are both -- former lieutenant governor in Kleefisch and the current lieutenant governor in Mandela Barnes." 

The role of lieutenant governor may not be a flashy one but it still serves a higher purpose.

"The lieutenant governor is given some policy responsibilities but it's not as visible, certainly, as obliviously the governor's position."

Cannon says you should think carefully about your vote Tuesday and in the November general election. Whoever wins the seat could one day serve as governor.

"They don't play a direct role in making policy. Let's say the state Legislature does or the governor does imposing legislation -- but in terms of a stepping stone to higher office, the lieutenant governor really has been an important position in the state of Wisconsin," Cannon said.

Again, eight Republicans and two Democrats will seek their party's nomination Tuesday. 

And if Rebecca Kleefisch's run for governor and current Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes' run for U.S. Senate tells us anything, it's that this office can be a powerful one. 

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