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Badger state showdown: Too close to call

“Justice David Prosser clung to a narrow lead over Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg in the state Supreme Court race early Wednesday, after a hard-fought campaign dominated by political forces and outside interest groups,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. “But even with 99% of the vote counted, fewer than 600 votes - about 0.04% of ballots - separated the candidates. And The Associated Press said early Wednesday that the race was too close to call and that it would take hours or most of the day to get a final tally.”

“That close margin had political insiders from both sides talking about the possibility of a recount, which Wisconsin has avoided in statewide races in recent decades. Any recount could be followed by lawsuits - litigation that potentially would be decided by the high court.”

The paper makes this additional point: "In the contest for a 10-year term, Kloppenburg is trying to accomplish the rare feat of unseating a sitting justice. Michael Gableman defeated then-Justice Louis Butler in 2008, but before that it had been 41 years since an incumbent lost a race for a high court seat. Unlike Butler, who was appointed to the post, Prosser was elected to his current term."

In the other race -- for Gov. Scott Walker’s old job as Milwaukee County executive -- “Chris Abele - a 44-year-old philanthropist, scion of a wealthy Boston family and political neophyte - handily defeated state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale),” the Journal Sentinel also reports.

More: “Abele campaigned with $1 million of his own money as someone with fresh ideas to tackle the county's nagging financial problems. Though light on specifics, Abele outlined an approach that emphasizes efficiency moves. He put much of his advertising firepower into trying to fuse Stone with Gov. Scott Walker and his controversial push to end most collective bargaining for public employees.”

The numbers: Per AP, Abele got 134,848; Stone 87,913.