Hagedorn ahead by nearly 6,000 votes

Published: Apr. 2, 2019 at 8:48 PM CDT
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The Wisconsin Supreme Court race could go to a recount, with the conservative candidate holding a narrow lead over his-liberal backed opponent following Tuesday's election.

Conservative candidate Brian Hagedorn declared victory early Wednesday based on a nearly 6,000-vote margin. The Associated Press is not yet calling the race because it could go to a recount.

Hagedorn was ahead of Lisa Neubauer by about half a percentage point, based on unofficial results with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Neubauer's campaign has started fundraising for a possible recount.

Counties have until April 12 to report certified vote totals to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Once the last report is in, Neubauer will have three days to request a recount.

She would have to pay for the recount. A presidential race recount in 2016 cost $2 million. A Supreme Court recount would be less, given that about 1.2 million votes were cast compared with 2.9 million in the presidential race.

Hagedorn says he's ready for a recount even though he doesn't think one would "make a whole lot of sense."

Hagedorn held a news conference Wednesday morning in Pewaukee to talk. He talked about his nearly 6,000-vote lead over opponent Lisa Neubauer. Her campaign has already started fundraising for a possible recount.

Hagedorn says he believes his lead is insurmountable. He says many voters didn't believe Neubauer's attacks, which he said misleading and inaccurate. Hagedorn says some voters may have viewed some of those attacks on people of faith.

Hagedorn is an evangelical Christian and spent much of the race defending his conservative beliefs.

Hagedorn tweeted this announcement just after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

The AP said Tuesday night it would not declare a winner because the race was too close to call.

The difference between the votes for the two candidates is less than one percent, opening up the possibility for a recount. The last time that happened in a Wisconsin Supreme Court race was in 2011.

"This race is too close to call. We are almost assuredly headed to a recount," said Neubauer campaign manager Tyler Hendricks. "We are going to make sure every vote is counted. Wisconsinites deserve to know we have had a fair election and that every vote is counted."

A Neubauer win would put liberals in position to capture majority control of the court next year. A Hagedorn victory would increase the conservative majority to 5-2 and ensure it will be maintained for years.