Wisconsin Supreme Court challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg has announced that she has conceded the race to incumbent Justice David Prosser.
“Justice David Prosser has won this election and I have congratulated him,” Kloppenburg said at an 11 a.m. press conference in Madison.
The statewide recount was completed last week and affirmed that Prosser won the April 5 election by a margin of 7,006 votes.
The election night results had Kloppenburg leading with 204, on which she declared victory, but a revelation by the Waukesha County Clerk two days later concerning inaccurate numbers being released to the press on April 5 gave Prosser a 7,316 vote lead.
That lead was within the margin of error that allowed Kloppenburg to request a recount and have it completed at taxpayer expense.
“The recount was always about much more than the small margin between candidates, but a cascade of irregularities in Waukesha County show we must do more in Wisconsin.”
Kloppenburg said the state courts have to look to the will of the voters and that even the large number of anomalies probably wouldn’t meet the high bar the court would need to overturn an election. She added that even the glaring anomalies, including open ballot bags in Waukesha, are not enough to prove there was tampering with the vote.
“As an attorney, officer of the court and understanding the power and limits of the law, it is my duty to recognise the boundaries of that law. There is no purpose to bring a suit with insufficient evidence.”
“We did the right thing in asking for a recount, it shed light on significant and widespread issues throughout Wisconsin,” Kloppenburg said. “The problems and gaps ought to be addressed as quickly as possible and should be fixed. I am sending a letter to the Government Accountability Board with summarizes the anomalies and I call on the GAB to take action and improve the election process in Wisconsin so every vote counts and is counted in Wisconsin.”
She added that she made the decision to seek the recount and she made the decision not to go to court.
“I did not have doughnuts with union thugs this morning, I did not think about how this would impact the unions,” she said of her decision process. “I thought of the voters of Wisconsin and how to make democracy with a little “d” work best in the state of Wisconsin.”
Kloppenburg reiterated the reasons she ran for the court, to show that justice’s should be impartial and that the court should embody the best of who we are and equal justice under the law. She said it was a fun ride and didn’t completely rule out running for office in the future.
With Kloppenburg’s concession, Justice Prosser will be sworn in for a second full term on Aug. 1.