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Latest on Wisconsin’s midterm elections



MADISON, Wis. (AP) — For the first time in nearly a decade, Wisconsin will have a new governor.

Democrat Tony Evers narrowly beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker, but Walker declined to immediately concede.

Evers’ victory completed a Democratic sweep of the top two statewide prizes, after Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin cruised to an easy victory.

Elsewhere, Democrats came up short in their hopes of taking the state Senate. And a bitter attorney general race between incumbent Republican Brad Schimel and Democrat Josh Kaul was too close to call.

The Latest on Wisconsin’s high-stakes midterm election (all times local):

1:50 a.m.

Democrat Sarah Godlewski has defeated Republican Travis Hartwig to become Wisconsin’s next state treasurer.

Godlewski and Hartwig were vying Tuesday to replace outgoing Treasurer Matt Adamcyzk, who decided not to run for the state Assembly rather than seek re-election to the post.

The treasurer has no real tasks except to sit on the Board of Commissioners of Public Land and track unclaimed property. Godlewski wants to use the office to review state finances and protect senior citizens from exploitation.

Any expansion of the treasurer’s duties would require legislative approval.


1:35 a.m.

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is not conceding defeat to Democrat Tony Evers.

Unofficial results show Evers beat Walker by about 29,000 votes, or just over 1 percentage point, out of more than 2.6 million votes cast. State law only permits recounts for losing candidates who are within 1 percentage point.

Walker campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger says “we need the official canvass and for military ballots to be counted before any decision can be made.”

Just before the race was called for Evers, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch told supporters to prepare for a “long, drawn-out recount.”

The race is the closest for Wisconsin governor since 1962 when the outcome was within 1 percentage point.


1:25 a.m.

Democrat Tony Evers has defeated Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a nailbiter, denying the polarizing Republican and one-time presidential candidate a third term.

Evers’ win on Tuesday is a huge victory for Democrats, who couldn’t find the recipe to take out Walker in three previous elections, including a 2012 recall.

Evers campaigned on the promise of cutting middle-class income taxes, eliminating a tax credit program for manufacturers and possibly raising the gas tax to pay for roads.

Evers is a former teacher who’s been state schools superintendent since 2009. He turned his understated personality to his advantage in the campaign, arguing that voters were tired of divisiveness and yearned for more collegial politics.


1:05 a.m.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is telling supporters of Gov. Scott Walker to prepare for a recount.

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.”

Kleefisch says to prepare for a “long, drawn-out recount.”

If the difference between Walker and Evers is within 1 percentage point, a recount can be requested.


12:29 a.m.

About 47,000 uncounted ballots in Milwaukee County could determine the winner of the race for Wisconsin governor.

The city of Milwaukee’s elections commissioner, Neil Albrecht, says 47,000 ballots were to be counted by 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Tony Evers was too close to call as of midnight with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The lead flipped between the two throughout the night, sometimes as narrowly as a couple hundred votes.

If the winner ends up ahead by less than 1 percentage point, the loser can request a recount. If the margin is greater than 1 percent, there is no recount.


12:05 a.m.

Republicans flipped a Democratic seat and held eight other key seats to maintain their majority in the state Senate.

The GOP went into Election Day with an 18-15 advantage in the Senate. Thirteen seats were in play, including eight Republican seats. Democrats needed to hold their five seats and flip three GOP seats to win a 17-16 majority.

But Republicans held their eight seats and Andre Jacque defeated Democratic incumbent Caleb Frostman on Tuesday night to give the GOP an 18-13 advantage with two races undecided.

Republicans held their majority in the Assembly as well. The GOP has controlled both houses of the Legislature since 2011.


11:50 p.m.

Republicans have maintained control of the state Assembly for two more years.

The GOP went into Tuesday’s elections with a 64-35 majority in the chamber, an all but insurmountable advantage. With 16 races still too close to call late Tuesday night, Republicans had a 50-33 edge. Not a single Republican incumbent had lost.

The GOP went into Election Day with an 18-15 edge in the Senate. Thirteen seats were in play, including eight Republican seats. Democrats needed to flip three of those seats to gain a 17-16 majority but as of late Tuesday not a single Republican incumbent had lost. Three GOP seats were still up for grabs, though.

Republicans have controlled both legislative houses since 2011.

11:40 p.m.

Incumbent Democrat Doug La Follette has won his 11th term as Wisconsin’s secretary of state.

La Follette defeated Republican mortgage officer Jay Schroeder in Tuesday’s elections.

Republicans over the years have stripped the secretary of state office of almost all of its powers. They also relocated the post to a tiny office in the state Capitol’s basement.

La Follette campaigned mostly on Democratic talking points, saying he supports working people and wants to expand access to health care as well as restore civility to politics.

Famous Wisconsin progressive “Fighting Bob” La Follette was Doug La Follette’s great-uncle.

11:30 p.m.

Wisconsin’s race for governor is shaping up to be the tightest in more than 50 years.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers are neck and neck with 90 percent of precincts reporting. The lead has been flipping back and forth through the night as more votes are counted. The lead has been as small as a couple hundred votes.

The last time a governor’s race was decided by less than 1 percentage point was in 1960, when the winner had just under 12,000 more than his opponent.

There is no automatic recount in Wisconsin. But if the loser is within 1 percentage point, he can request a recount.

10:40 p.m.

Almost all of Wisconsin’s congressional incumbents have retained their jobs.

Democrat Mark Pocan won re-election Tuesday in southern Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District; Democrat Ron Kind won another two years representing western Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District; and Democrat Gwen Moore won re-election in Milwaukee’s 4th Congressional District.

Republicans Jim Sensenbrenner and Sean Duffy retained their seats in southeastern Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District and northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District respectively.

Republican Bryan Steil won the open 1st Congressional District in southeastern Wisconsin while Republican incumbent Glenn Grothman held onto his seat in the 6th Congressional District in east-central Wisconsin.

10:30 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman has beat Democrat Dan Kohl to hold onto a district that’s been in GOP hands since the 1960s.

Grothman won the 6th Congressional District race Tuesday despite concerns that heavy Democratic turnout would provide Kohl the boost he needed for an upset. In the end, the heavily Republican district proved too much for Kohl to overcome.

Grothman had said this would be the toughest race he ever faced. He’s never lost an election during his 24 years in Wisconsin politics, which include stints in the state Assembly and state Senate.

Kohl is a nephew of former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl.

The candidates clashed over health care and the benefits of the Republican tax plan passed last year.

10:15 p.m.

Democrat Tony Evers is clinging to a narrow lead over Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The race was too close to call Tuesday with about two-thirds of precincts reporting totals.

Evers held a slim lead over Walker. The second-term governor was underperforming in several key Republican counties that he won in 2014 on his way to a second term.

Democrats were trying to defeat Walker in his fourth time on the ballot in eight years. He won a recall election in 2012.

Walker himself has said his race against Evers, the state schools chief since 2009, is the toughest for governor in his career. Wisconsin is nearly evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, and President Donald Trump narrowly carried it in 2016.

9:05 p.m.

Republican attorney Bryan Steil (STY’-ill) has won outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin congressional seat.

Steil is a Ryan protege. He defeated Democratic ironworker Randy Bryce on Tuesday to earn the right to represent southeastern Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District for the next two years. His victory denies bragging rights for Wisconsin Democrats, who had targeted the seat after Ryan announced in April that he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Bryce nicknamed himself “Iron Stache,” a play on his vocation and his thick mustache. He generated $6 million in contributions.

Steil worked for Ryan for a year in Washington. Ryan endorsed him. A super PAC aligned with Ryan launched ads trumpeting Bryce’s nine arrests and branding Bryce a deadbeat for failing to pay child support.

8:58 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says her win sends a “loud and clear message” that people in Wisconsin want a senator who will stand up for them against special interests.

Baldwin soundly defeated Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir on Tuesday, winning a second term.

Baldwin was an early target for outside conservative groups that spent millions attacking her over the summer. But after Vukmir won the August primary, Baldwin outraised her more than 5-to-1.

Baldwin says in her remarks are prepared for delivery at her victory party that “Democrats, Republicans and Independents sent a loud and clear message tonight that they wanted a senator who works not for the special interests, but someone who works for you.”

8:50 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has won a second term, fending off a challenge from a Republican who ran as a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.

Baldwin led Leah Vukmir in fundraising and polls throughout the race.

Baldwin is one of the most liberal members of Congress. The differences between her and Vukmir were stark. They disagreed on almost every issue.

Baldwin made the campaign largely about health care and Vukmir’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Baldwin argued for keeping the law and its guarantee of insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

It was Wisconsin’s first Senate race where both major party candidates were women.

This item has been corrected to reflect that Baldwin won.

8 p.m.

Polls have closed in Wisconsin.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. statewide. They had been open since 7 a.m.

Local clerks will now begin tallying the ballots. That effort could take all night in some counties.

Top of the ticket races include the battle for governor between Republican incumbent Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers, the contest for U.S. Senate between Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin and Republican Leah Vukmir and 13 state Senate contests that will determine party control of the chamber.

12 p.m.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker says “it’s up to the voters and God’s will” as he campaigned on Election Day for a third term.

Speaking on WTMJ-AM, Walker said he was enjoying the end of the campaign as he travels the state on a bus with family and friends. The governor said he’ll be working until 8 p.m. Tuesday when the polls close to get voters to turn out. Walker says he sees the choice between him and Democrat Tony Evers as a choice between moving forward or moving backward.

Evers continued his long-time Election Day tradition of going to vote at the Madison Public Library with his wife, Kathy Evers.

7:20 a.m.

Polls are open in Wisconsin’s high stakes midterm election where voters will decide whether Republican Gov. Scott Walker will keep his job or turn it over to Democrat Tony Evers.

Walker is facing his toughest political challenge yet in Evers, who wants to return state government’s top spot to Democrats for the first time since 2010.

Also on the top of the ticket is the U.S. Senate race in which Democrat Tammy Baldwin seeking a second term against Republican Leah Vukmir, a state senator. All of the U.S. House seats are on the ballot, too.

Voters are heading to the polls, some with umbrellas, as overcast skies and light rain fall across the state.

6:10 a.m.

It’s too soon to tell what impact overcast skies, light rain, drizzle and snow showers will have on turnout this Election Day in Wisconsin.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide. In addition to rain gear, voters will need to bring identification to the polls Tuesday.

That could be a Wisconsin driver’s license, a state-issued photo ID card, a U.S. military ID card, a tribal ID card, a U.S. passport or a student photo ID issued by a Wisconsin university with an expiration date no later than two years after the date of issue.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Elections Commission says more than 547,000 absentee ballots have already been returned for this election, breaking a record set in 2014 for a midterm election.

1 a.m.

High-profile clashes for governor and the U.S. Senate top the ballot in Wisconsin.

In Tuesday’s governor’s race, Scott Walker faces Democrat Tony Evers as he goes for a third term that the Republican governor promises will be his last should he win.

Walker made history by defeating a recall in 2012, then mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid. Evers is the state schools chief.

The Senate race pits one of the most liberal members of Congress against a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump. Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican challenger Leah Vukmir disagreed on every major issue, from health care to immigration, abortion to tax policy.

Farther down the ballot, Democrats hope to seize outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat and send former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl’s nephew to Congress.

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