MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser declared victory on Friday over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg in their hard-fought race for a space on the state's highest court.
Final county tallies show Prosser with a 7,316-vote lead over Kloppenburg. State election officials aren't declaring an official winner in case Kloppenburg decides to request a recount. She has until Wednesday to call for one, and her campaign said on Friday afternoon that she is weighing her options.
Prosser received about 752,000 votes while Kloppenburg received about 745,000.
Regardless, Prosser campaign manager Brian Nemoir issued a statement saying the will of the electorate is clear and Prosser has been re-elected. He said Prosser extends his appreciation and respect to Kloppenburg and her "spirited campaign."
Prosser declared victory after the results from Wisconsin counties were finally compiled on Friday afternoon -- more than a week after the spring election.
Some saw the race for state Supreme Court justice as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's divisive union rights law. Kloppenburg, a little-known state attorney, got a boost after supporters worked to turn anger over the union law against Prosser.
The race was too close to call after unofficial returns were reported last week. Kloppenburg declared victory April 6, based on unofficial results that showed her with a 204-vote lead. The next day, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said she failed to report more than 14,000 votes, which flipped the race in Prosser's favor.
If Kloppenburg doesn't challenge the results, state elections will review the numbers before declaring an official winner in the race.
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