AP: Evers wins governor's race; Walker doesn't concede

Tony Evers, candidate for Wisconsin governor
Democratic Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers (Photo courtesy Evers campaign)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Latest on Wisconsin election (all times local):

9:15 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker's first comments since his election defeat are coming via Twitter, with the posting of a Bible verse.

Walker narrowly lost to Democrat Tony Evers in Tuesday's election. While Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch vowed there would be a recount, and his campaign spokesman raised concerns about damaged ballots, Walker has not been heard from.

But shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Walker tweeted the Psalm "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Walker's father, Llew Walker, was a Baptist preacher who died in October.

Unofficial results show that Evers defeated Walker by just over 1 percentage point. Only candidates who lose by less than a point can request a recount.

Evers declared victory early Wednesday morning.

1:35 a.m.

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is not conceding defeat to Democrat Tony Evers.

Unofficial results show Evers beat Walker by about 29,000 votes, or just over 1 percentage point, out of more than 2.6 million votes cast. State law only permits recounts for losing candidates who are within 1 percentage point.

Walker campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger says "we need the official canvass and for military ballots to be counted before any decision can be made."

Just before the race was called for Evers, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch told supporters to prepare for a "long, drawn-out recount."

The race is the closest for Wisconsin governor since 1962 when the outcome was within 1 percentage point.

"Oh Lord, thank you Wisconsin. Was this close enough," questioned Evers. Was this close enough for you?"

Evers thanked his supporters early Wednesday morning.

While history shows incumbents are hard to beat, Evers proved, it's possible.

"I want to thank Gov. Walker and his family as well as Lt. Gov. Kleefisch and her family for their years of service to the state of Wisconsin," Evers said.

Supporters expressed their happiness on an Evers win.

"We knew in our hears that Tony represented the people of Wisconsin and I am so happy the people of Wisconsin came through on that promise," said Eliana Locke of Madison.

"It's unbelievable. The feeling of knowing that the state of Wisconsin is ready for change, ready to invest in our children, ready to invest in the next generation," said Mo Cheeks of Madison.

Evers made promises to the crowd during his speech.

"I will be focused on solving problems, not picking political fights. I will never make promises I can not keep and I will always work for you," Evers said.

He ended his speech by telling the crowd it's time for change and change is coming.


1:25 p.m.

Democrat Tony Evers has defeated Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a nailbiter, denying the polarizing Republican and one-time presidential candidate a third term.

Evers' win on Tuesday is a huge victory for Democrats, who couldn't find the recipe to take out Walker in three previous elections, including a 2012 recall.

Evers campaigned on the promise of cutting middle-class income taxes, eliminating a tax credit program for manufacturers and possibly raising the gas tax to pay for roads.

Evers is a former teacher who's been state schools superintendent since 2009. He turned his understated personality to his advantage in the campaign, arguing that voters were tired of divisiveness and yearned for more collegial politics.

------

1:05 a.m.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is telling supporters of Gov. Scott Walker to prepare for a recount.


The race between Walker and Democrat Tony Evers was too close to call early Wednesday morning. Kleefisch told supporters just before 1 a.m. that "the fight is not over." She says, "We must ensure every valid vote in the state of Wisconsin is counted and we must be gracious no matter the outcome."

Kleefisch says to prepare for a "long, drawn-out recount."

If the difference between Walker and Evers is within 1 percentage point, a recount can be requested.

------

12:29 a.m.

About 47,000 uncounted ballots in Milwaukee County could determine the winner of the race for Wisconsin governor.

The city of Milwaukee's elections commissioner, Neil Albrecht, says 47,000 ballots were to be counted by 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Tony Evers was too close to call as of midnight with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The lead flipped between the two throughout the night, sometimes as narrowly as a couple hundred votes.

If the winner ends up ahead by less than 1 percentage point, the loser can request a recount. If the margin is greater than 1 percent, there is no recount.

------

12:10 a.m.

About 47,000 uncounted ballots in Milwaukee County could determine the winner of the race for Wisconsin governor.

The city of Milwaukee's elections commissioner, Neil Albrecht, says 47,000 ballots were to be counted by 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democrat Tony Evers was too close to call as of midnight with 94 percent of precincts reporting. The lead flipped between the two throughout the night, sometimes as narrowly as a couple hundred votes.

If the winner ends up ahead by less than 1 percentage point, the loser can request a recount. If the margin is greater than 1 percent, there is no recount.

------

11:30 p.m.

Wisconsin's race for governor is shaping up to be the tightest in more than 50 years.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers are neck and neck with 90 percent of precincts reporting. The lead has been flipping back and forth through the night as more votes are counted. The lead has been as small as a couple hundred votes.

The last time a governor's race was decided by less than 1 percentage point was in 1960, when the winner had just under 12,000 more than his opponent.

There is no automatic recount in Wisconsin. But if the loser is within 1 percentage point, he can request a recount.

------

10:15 p.m.

Democrat Tony Evers is clinging to a narrow lead over Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The race was too close to call Tuesday with about two-thirds of precincts reporting totals.

Evers held a slim lead over Walker. The second-term governor was underperforming in several key Republican counties that he won in 2014 on his way to a second term.

Democrats were trying to defeat Walker in his fourth time on the ballot in eight years. He won a recall election in 2012.

Walker himself has said his race against Evers, the state schools chief since 2009, is the toughest for governor in his career. Wisconsin is nearly evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, and President Donald Trump narrowly carried it in 2016.

---------------

(WLUK) -- Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker is running against Democratic challenger Tony Evers.

Gov. Scott Walker

Walker's message is the final days of the campaign is simple: He says Wisconsin can't afford to go backwards. He has touted the economy, the low unemployment rate and tax cuts.

Walker has served two terms as governor since he was first elected in 2010. Walker has actually been elected three times already, having survived a recall effort in 2012.

Walker ran for president in 2016, but dropped out during the Republican primary race.

FOX 11's Robert Hornacek will be at Walker's election night gathering in Pewaukee and will have live reports tonight on FOX 11 News.

Tony Evers

While this is Evers' first campaign for governor, it is not the first time he has been on a statewide ballot. Evers is the longtime state superintendent of schools, having been elected in 2009, 2013 and 2017.

Before he led the Department of Public Instruction, Evers was a teacher and administrator.

FOX 11's Gabrielle Mays will be at Evers' election night gathering in Madison and will have live reports tonight on FOX 11 News.

Share a photo or video of your election day experience here:


FOLLOW US ON TWITTER