Wisconsin Judge's Race Tilts to Democrats
Left sees result as referendum against Scott Walker, anti-union law
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2011 7:00 PM CDT
Justice David Prosser speaks to supporters on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)
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(Newser) – A Wisconsin judicial election widely seen as a referendum on Scott Walker's anti-union ways looks to be bad news for the governor. With all precincts counted, an assistant attorney general named JoAnne Kloppenburg—she's backed by liberals—holds a razor-thin lead of about 200 votes over sitting State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, who's backed by conservatives, reports the AP. Kloppenburg has declared victory, but a recount looks all but certain, notes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Prosser looked to be a shoo-in until the race turned into a proxy fight, with special-interest groups on both sides joining the fight with political ads.

Walker's law curbing union power is still winding its way through the courts, but it's not clear whether this election will affect it. If Kloppenburg eventually wins, she'd be sworn in on Aug. 1, and the case could have been decided by then. Two reactions, from left and right:

  • Allahpundit, Hot Air: :"It was much closer than any of us thought it would be. I fully expected a four- or five-point Kloppenburg win given the left’s outrageously outrageous outrage over the collective bargaining law. A good omen for next year’s turnout."
  • Andrew Leonard, Salon: "Call it the Wisconsin miracle," he writes, noting that Kloppenburg won big in a district where the first GOP lawmaker is up for recall. "With one victory—at least for now—notched on their belt, Wisconsin's Democrats will be eager for more."