State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser emerged as the winner Friday over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg in a heated election that drew national attention because of the fight over collective bargaining and a ballot reporting error in Waukesha County, following initial results that showed Kloppenburg leading the race.
A canvass of vote totals from the state's 72 counties finalized Friday afternoon shows Prosser beating Kloppenburg, an assistant attorney general, by 7,316 votes. The final canvass of the April 5 vote was completed 10 days after the election, the maximum allowed by state law.
The margin - 0.488% - is within the 0.5% limit that would allow Kloppenburg to request a statewide recount at taxpayers' expense.
The deadline for calling for a recount is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Although counties have certified their results, by law the Government Accountability Board can't certify the statewide results and declare an official winner until after that recount deadline passes or after completion of a recount, the state agency noted.
The Kloppenburg campaign has not decided whether to seek a recount, but it wasn't conceding the race, either.
Prosser spokesman Brian Nemoir declared victory for the incumbent, issuing a statement that said, "Today, the will of the electorate is clear with the last canvass now completed and Justice David Prosser re-elected to another 10-year term to the Supreme Court.
"Justice Prosser extends his appreciation and respect to JoAnne Kloppenburg and her spirited campaign. With certified results in-hand, Justice Prosser hopes that a shared respect for the judiciary allows the campaign to move to a positive conclusion."
Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken issued a statement, saying, "Now that the statewide canvass is complete, our campaign will focus our decision-making on whether to request a recount . . . We will review the information available to us and carefully weigh the options."