Abele, Biddle and Sain win; high court race still undecided
The conservative Republican agenda of Governor Scott Walker was slowed Tuesday with the overwhelming victory of philanthropist and businessman Chris Abele over Greenfield state Assemblyman Jeff Stone for Milwaukee County executive.
However, the race for state Supreme Court Justice between incumbent David Prosser and challenger state prosecutor JoAnne Kloppenburg is still undecided. Only the votes in one precinct–in the town of Lake Mills–remain to be counted, which reportedly won’t be completed until Wednesday.
Election observers reportedly noted that even when the votes are counted in Lake Mills, it may not be enough to allow Prosser to overtake Kloppenburg, who has a narrow lead as of Wednesday morning.
The outcome of the contest may have to be determined via a statewide recount, the first in over 20 years.
The win by Abele who received 134,848 votes (61%) was seen as a repudiation of the Walker agenda, which was represented by Stone, who garnered 87,913 votes (39%).
Political observers believe Stones’ support of Walker’s budget initiatives—especially the governor’s bill that threatens to dismantle state unions’ collective bargaining—was what doomed his campaign, despite early efforts by the state legislator to separate himself ideologically from the man he wanted to succeed as county executive.
Stone admitted as much during his concession speech to his disappointed supporters Tuesday night, saying his loss reflects the divide in the state, created in large part by Walker’s union busting legislation.
He added the substantial turnout in Milwaukee reflects the political unrest now rampant throughout the state, which reached its zenith in Madison in February when union members, their families, educators, students—even Democratic state Senators—and others gained national attention with their protests in and around the state capitol building (as well as outside the state) over Walker’s efforts to destroy unions and—to a large measure—the Middle Class.
Abele will now have one year to put into motion the ideas he outlined during the campaign to fix the county before he has to face voters again in 2012.
In the race for the 10th District Milwaukee County Board seat vacated by now state legislator Elizabeth Coggs, Eyon Biddle defeated Atty. Tearman Spencer. Biddle, who is the executive director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) state council, received 3,140 votes (56%) to Spencer’s 2,482 votes (44%).
For Milwaukee Public School Board, retired Milwaukee Fire Assistant Chief Mark Sain narrowly defeated incumbent board member Tim Peterson 5,785 votes (50%) to 5,678 (50%)
Incumbent board member Jeff Spence beat challenger Gerald Glazer by a more comfortable margin of 8,975 votes (70%) to 3,809 votes (30%).