Challenger in Wisconsin high court race finally concedes

Reuters News
Posted: May 31, 2011 2:31 PM
Challenger in Wisconsin high court race finally concedes

MADISON (Reuters) - The Democratic challenger in the hotly contested race for a seat on the Wisconsin state Supreme Court conceded defeat on Tuesday -- eight weeks after voters went to the polls.

"David Prosser has won this election and I congratulate him," JoAnne Kloppenburg said at a news conference.

Kloppenburg's campaign against the incumbent Republican came to be seen as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker and the curbs on public sector collective bargaining he and his allies passed in the legislature.

Her concession comes a week after the state's Government Accountability Board declared Prosser the winner.

The GAB's declaration followed a lengthy statewide recount of the nearly 1.5 million ballots cast in the race.

That recount determined Prosser beat Kloppenburg by about 7,000 votes.

Kloppenburg had originally appeared to win the race by a little over 200 votes.

But the discovery of thousands of improperly tabulated votes in the conservative stronghold of Waukesha County upended the race and handed the victory back to Prosser.

(Reporting by John Rondy and Jeff Mayers; Writing by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Jerry Norton)