With over 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Wisconsin Supreme Court race still too close to call.
Conservative incumbent David Prosser had 733,074 votes (50 percent) and liberal challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg had 732,489 votes (50 percent) with 3596 of 3630 precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
Prosser has held his seat on the high court for 12 years and was formerly a Republican member of the State Assembly. Kloppenburg is a former deputy attorney general.
Although many assumed Prosser would easily win the April election, the backlash against Republican Governor Scott Walker created a groundswell of support for his opponent, Kloppenburg.
Walker signed a bill on March 11 that eliminates most union rights for public employees. The legislation ignited massive protests, bringing national attention to the state, while it was being debated in the Wisconsin Legislature.
The head of the largest federation of unions in the United States, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, jokingly thanked Walker in March for igniting an impassioned debate on workers’ rights.
“It looked like this was going to be a relatively sleepy affair [in which] the incumbent was going to coast to victory,” Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog, told POLITICO.
“But everything changed about seven or eight weeks ago when all hell broke loose in Wisconsin and almost instantly this race became a referendum on Scott Walker — and a dogfight,” he continued.
With national attention on the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, money has been pouring into both candidates.
Although the two candidates can spend no more than $400,000 each on their campaigns because they accepted public financing, according to the Brennan Center for Justice four special-interest groups have spent a combined $3.5 million on the April election. Outside groups supporting Prosser have outspent those supporting Kloppenburg by a 3 to 2 ratio.
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