Portage, Columbia County voters lift Evers, Baldwin with big turnout

Portage, Columbia County voters lift Evers, Baldwin with big turnout

Scott Walker was narrowly ousted in Wisconsin, and a law he put in place means he cant ask for a recount

Wisconsins Republican Governor Scott Walker lost a very narrow race for reelection to Democratic challenger Tony Evers on Tuesday. But it wasnt close enough to qualify for a recount — thanks to a law he signed himself last year.

Around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, when the vote was still too close to call, Walkers lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, told supporters to prepare for a recount, CBS affiliate WDJT reported. Kleefisch told supporters “the fight is not over.” 

“We must ensure every valid vote in the state of Wisconsin is counted and we must be gracious no matter the outcome,” she said.

Mr. Evers, 67, won amid signs of rising Democratic energy in several special elections in the state earlier in the year and despite a fierce fight for a third term by Mr. Walker, a Republican whose formidable political and organizational skills had showed him tied with Mr. Evers in polling before the election. The outcome was a blow to Wisconsin Republicans, who have for the last eight years largely dominated the State Capitol and remade policies from taxes to requirements to vote, but now face a changed landscape.

Democrats defeat Scott Walker, send Tammy Baldwin back to Senate

Before he conceded, Walkers campaign wanted an examination of allegedly damaged ballots. He also wanted an official canvas of the vote, meaning absentee and accepted provisional ballots would be counted with Election Day ballots, WDJT reported. 

But Mr. Evers, a teacher and principal before he became the states superintendent of public instruction, defined his pitch as a desperately needed antidote for Wisconsin after eight years under the Walker administration. He said that so many years of conservative policies had starved the states school system of needed funds, left roads to decay, destroyed environmental protections, and that Mr. Walker was threatening the health care coverage of Wisconsin residents.

Based on unofficial results, Evers won by about 31,000 votes, according to the Associated Press. Evers led Walker 49.6 percent to 48.4 percent.

Mr. Evers, who is relatively well known in the state, had won a crowded Democratic primary in August. Some Democrats had worried that he was too bland, too normal — not dynamic enough to contend with Mr. Walker. But others said he was just what voters needed: a steady, reliable opponent who might not turn much attention to himself but would keep people firmly focused on Mr. Walker — and Mr. Walkers legacy in Wisconsin.

If a candidate in Wisconsin is losing by less than 1 percent, they can ask for a recount — but Walker lost by 1.2 percent.

Democrat Josh Kaul was looking to unseat Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel in a race that was too close to call early Wednesday. Kaul is the son of the late former Democratic Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and served as a federal prosecutor in Baltimore but hasn’t played up his background, choosing instead to focus on attacking Schimel. He says Schimel took too long to test thousands of unanalyzed sexual assault evidence kits, allowed testing delays at the state crime labs to grow, spent taxpayer money on commemorative coins for police and failed to get control of the state’s opioid crisis. Schimel pushed back by playing up efforts to award safety grants to schools and painting Kaul as inexperienced.

Business Insider reports that the threshold is due to a law Walker signed after President Trump was elected. Mr. Trump won Wisconsin by 23,000 votes, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who received just 1 percent of the vote, demanded and received a recount, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. In response, the state legislature passed a measure mandating that in the future, candidates could only request a recount if they were losing by less than 1 percent.

Democrats thought they finally had a shot at Ryan’s 1st Congressional District seat after Ryan decided not to seek re-election after 20 years in Washington. The party pinned its hopes on Racine ironworker Randy Bryce but Republican attorney Bryan Steil defeated him easily. Bryce generated more than $6 million in contributions by the end of July but had plenty of problems. He failed to pay child support and has been arrested nine times. Steil worked as a Ryan aide for a year in 2003 and had Ryan’s support since he entered the race. The district includes Janesville, Racine and Kenosha.

Therefore, Walker did not qualify for a recount, like his lieutenant governor initially suggested when the race was too close to call. Walker ultimately called Evers to concede. 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin voters handed Democrats two huge victories, defeating Republican Gov. Scott Walker and handing Tammy Baldwin a second term in the U.S. Senate. But Democrats failed to unseat a single GOP legislator and their attorney general hopeful, Josh Kaul, was locked in a race with Republican incumbent Brad Schimel that was still too close to call Wednesday morning.

Scott Walker, Wisconsins Republican governor, was ousted from office in the states closest gubernatorial race in more than 50 years in Tuesdays midterm elections, and he wont be able to ask for a recount because of a law he put in place.

With 99% of precincts reporting on Wednesday morning, the Democrat Tony Evers narrowly led Walker, 49.6% to 48.4%, according to The Associated Press. The gap was 1.2 percentage points, or about 31,000 votes out of the more than 2.6 million cast in the election.

The race between Walker and Democrat Tony Evers was too close to call early Wednesday morning. Kleefisch told supporters just before 1 a.m. that “the fight is not over.” She says, “We must ensure every valid vote in the state of Wisconsin is counted and we must be gracious no matter the outcome.”

After President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by just 23,000 votes in 2016, Walker signed into law a measure mandating that recounts would be allowed only when candidates are projected to be within 1 percentage point of each other.

facebook twitter email See Also Democrat Tony Evers elected Wisconsin governor, denying Republican Scott Walker a third term MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) — Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is telling supporters of Gov. Scott Walker to prepare for a recount.

The law triggers a free recount if the margin is 0.25 percentage points or less. When its between 0.25 and 1 points, the candidate projected to lose must petition and pay for a recount.

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Brian Reisinger, Walkers campaign spokesman, told the AP that Walker wanted an examination of what he alleged were damaged ballots. He also wants to see the official canvas of the vote, which would show him Election Day results as well as results from absentee and accepted provisional ballots.

Evers declared victory at about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday with almost all precincts reporting, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Evers win also means his running mate, Mandela Barnes, will become Wisconsins first black lieutenant governor.

Moments before the race was called, Walkers lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, said she was prepared for a “long, drawn-out recount” but would “be gracious no matter the outcome,” according to the AP.

The loss means Walker will miss out on a third term as governor despite three years ago being seen at one time as a front-runner in the 2016 presidential campaign.

“It has been my honor to serve as your Governor for nearly eight years. Weve come a long way together and it is my sincere hope that the progress weve made during our time in office will continue and that we can keep Wisconsin working for generations to come,” he said.


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