Update: 7:47 p.m.
This may be among the big reasons why Judge Jill Karofsky has unseated Daniel Kelly.
the Republican WOW counties are almost all in.— Craig Gilbert (@WisVoter) April 14, 2020
conservative court margins in 2019 and 2020:
Waukesha: from +37 to +22
Ozaukee: from +25 to +12
Washington: from +50 to +36
Update: 7:15 p.m.
The Associated Press has called the race for Karofsky with a 6% margin of lead and 62 percent of precincts in.
Justice Kelly has given a concession statement.
“It has been the highest honor of my career to serve the people of Wisconsin on their Supreme Court these past four years. Obviously I had hoped my service would continue for another decade, but tonight’s results make clear that God has a different plan for my future. I congratulate Judge Karofsky and wish her well as she assumes the responsibilities of this important office.
Although we are disappointed, tonight my greatest emotion is gratitude. First to my family, especially my wonderful wife, Elisa. She has been with me every step of this race, a constant source of encouragement and good cheer. To our incredible volunteers, donors, and supporters: you opened your homes and your hearts to us, which is so typical of the people of this state, yet so exceptional in our world today. We are humbled by your confidence in us, and inspired by your commitment to our constitutionally-guaranteed rights and liberties. To my campaign team, you built an incredible grassroots machine that carried us further than any of the pundits predicted, and you led us through an incredibly difficult time with grace and resolve. You all have my deepest thanks.
As the campaign comes to its close, the work of the Court continues. My term ends on July 31, and I will dedicate every day from now until then to finishing well in my service to this state. My thanks to my law clerks and our court staff, my colleagues on the bench, and the outstanding advocates who practice before us–together you made this privilege of public service into a true joy.
I dedicated this campaign to a simple proposition: the people of Wisconsin are my bosses, and whatever authority we have on the court we receive as a loan from them according to the terms of our constitutions. The expiration of the time and authority loaned to me is a reminder that our system still works–that our Constitution endures through every test and trial, and that here in America the lawful will of the people shall always prevail.”
A liberal challenger says she has defeated a conservative incumbent on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, though more than 40 percent of the vote had not come in yet.
Jill Karofsky declared victory in the race between herself and incumbent Daniel Kelly as results from Tuesday’s election were finally being tabulated and released on Monday evening.
“I’m a little overwhelmed…and deeply honored to be the next justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” said Karofsky at the start of her news conference.
With 58% of precincts reporting as of 7:04 p.m., Karofsky had a 64,000-vote lead on Kelly.
Karofsky declared victory before news outlets projected it.
Here is her statement:
“I want to send a heartfelt thank you to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who made their voice heard in this unprecedented election. I’m honored to have earned the trust of people across this state who believe in a tough, fair, and independent judiciary and I promise to never forget these principles as their Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.
“I also want to thank my family, including my two kids, my parents, my siblings, and all my friends and supporters. I especially want to thank my staff for their tireless efforts.
“Although we were successful in this race, the circumstances under which this election was conducted were simply unacceptable, and raise serious concerns for the future of our democracy. Nobody in this state or in this country should have been forced to choose between their safety and participating in an election. Too many were unable to have their voices heard because they didn’t feel safe leaving their home or their absentee ballots weren’t counted. Wisconsinites showed their resiliency by overcoming many of the barriers created by the legislature and the courts to try and silence voters in this state, but nobody should ever be denied their right to vote.
“Over the past several months I’ve talked about the need to restore the public’s confidence in our judicial system. With this victory, I look forward to the opportunity to show, with my actions on the court, that we have a judiciary that is following the rule of law and applying it fairly to everyone in our state. Now, more than ever, we need to instill confidence in our institutions and I’m honored to be a part of that.”
As polling results came in during the evening, Kelly’s lead in areas outside Milwaukee and Madison was much smaller than Brian Hagedorn’s lead in those areas in the 2019 Supreme Court election.
Hagedorn won by a very small margin that year.