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Republican Gov. Scott Walker conceded the governor’s race Wednesday to Democratic state Superintendent Tony Evers, who vowed to seek common ground with Republicans in control of the Legislature.

But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hinted Wednesday that GOP lawmakers may have unfinished business with Walker before he leaves office.

Speaking to reporters at the state Capitol, Vos suggested he may seek to curtail the governor’s powers during a lame-duck session before Evers takes office in January.

“If there are areas we could look and say ‘Geez, have we made mistakes where we granted too much power to the executive,’ I’d be open to taking a look and saying ‘what could we do to change that?’” said Vos, R-Rochester.

After hearing Vos’ comments later in the day, Evers’ campaign responded that it’s “unfortunate that Speaker Vos is doubling down on division” hours after Evers asked GOP leaders “to set aside differences and work together.”

“These are the same desperate antics of politicians hellbent on staying in power after eight years. The people of Wisconsin deserve better from our government, and that’s why they voted for a change yesterday,” said Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback.

The offices of Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to inquiries about whether they want to work with Vos on legislation such as what he floated Wednesday.

The back-and-forth between the two parties was the first taste of Wisconsin’s new political paradigm — with Democrats, fueled by record turnout for a midterm election in Wisconsin, declaring victory in statewide races Tuesday.

Yet those big wins statewide did not translate to legislative gains for Democrats, as Republicans added one seat to their state Senate majority and maintained their lopsided edge in the Assembly.

Evers, benefiting from strong turnout and huge margins in Milwaukee and the Madison area, beat Walker by about 31,000 votes, or about 1.2 percentage points.

Walker’s campaign initially talked about the possibility of seeking a recount. But in a statement Wednesday, Walker said he spoke with Evers and offered the full support of his staff during a cabinet transition.

“Thank you to the voters of the great State of Wisconsin,” Walker said in the statement. “It has been my honor to serve as your Governor for nearly eight years. We’ve come a long way together and it is my sincere hope that the progress we’ve made during our time in office will continue and that we can keep Wisconsin working for generations to come.”

In brief remarks to reporters Wednesday at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County rec center in Fitchburg, Evers called for unity in Wisconsin.

“The race is now over and now it’s time to come together,” Evers said.

Tuesday’s election results set up divided control of state government for a full legislative session for the first time in a decade. Evers’ legislative agenda is likely to meet roadblocks in a GOP-dominated Legislature that likely feels emboldened by its electoral success Tuesday.

Still, Republicans no longer will have free rein to pass bills without Democratic support, as they have since 2011.

Democrat Josh Kaul declared victory in the state attorney general’s race over Republican incumbent Brad Schimel at a news conference Wednesday morning. Schimel tentatively conceded pending official election results due out later this month.

That — along with wins Tuesday by State Treasurer-elect Sarah Godlewski and the re-election of Secretary of State Doug La Follette — hands control of all executive state offices to Democrats for the first time since 1986. It marks a stunning about-face for a state government that, since 2011, has been under near-total Republican control.

Margin of victory

Concession delayed

Walker didn’t initially concede in the predawn hours Wednesday after The Associated Press projected Evers the winner with almost all precincts reporting and Evers holding a slightly more than 1 percent victory margin — enough to block a recount. State law only permits losing candidates to request a recount if they trail by no more than 1 percentage point.

In a statement issued very early Wednesday, Walker’s campaign said it would wait until an official canvass of the results and for military and overseas ballots to be counted, and noted some of the ballots may have been damaged. In the Wednesday concession statement, the campaign said it had “determined that any change in the result would not be significant enough to determine the outcome of the election.”

Walker tweeted a Bible verse Wednesday morning: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Evers’ win also elevated his running mate Mandela Barnes as the first African-American lieutenant governor in state history. The only other black politician to hold statewide office was former Secretary of State Vel Phillips.

In his first appearance as governor-elect Wednesday, Evers was joined by Barnes and Shelia Stubbs, state representative-elect from Madison.

Evers thanked Walker for what he described as a “gracious” concession call he received moments before the event. He said Walker volunteered to make his staff available to Evers’ staff to aid in the transition.

Evers also said he is creating a transition team to oversee his shift into the governor’s office and name key staffers in his administration.

Evers said he also reached out to Vos and Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, Wednesday to begin work with them. He said he will seek bipartisan areas of agreement on topics including roads, education and health care.

“I would really like to talk to them about how we set the stage going forward so that we can find common ground on these important issues,” Evers said.

Vos told reporters he’s open to working with Evers but also struck a defiant tone, saying Assembly Republicans won’t roll back any of the changes they’ve implemented with Walker over the last eight years.

“If he wants to poke Republicans in the eye, he will end up getting very little of what he wants,” Vos said. “So that’s a choice I can’t make for Tony Evers.”

Voter turnout Tuesday was huge for a midterm election. About 2.7 million Wisconsinites cast ballots, a record in total votes cast and easily surpassing turnout in 2014 and 2010, as well as the historic 2012 recall election.

The Evers victory also breathed new life into a state Democratic Party that had been on the ropes after losing the reins of state government in 2010 and losing the 2016 presidential election for the first time since 1984.

It also appears to spell the end — at least for now — of the Walker era in Wisconsin, which upended the state’s politics and dealt lasting blows to its once-formidable labor movement.

Democrats held out hope of wresting control of the state Senate Tuesday, but ultimately ended up losing one seat instead, even though their party swept the statewide races.

Republicans grew their Senate majority from 18-15 to 19-14 after Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, won his rematch against Sen. Caleb Frostman, D-De Pere, who won a special election over the summer.

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110818-wsj-news-election-folo5

Kathy Kennedy embraces Peggy Koenig, facing, as people gather at noon in the Capitol rotunda for a Solidarity Sing Along after Tony Evers was elected governor.

The election results triggered an impromptu celebratory rally at the state Capitol Wednesday by the Solidarity Singers. The informal group has been an ongoing voice of protest in the Capitol since the 2011 protests against Walker’s signature anti-union law known as Act 10.

Genie Ogden, of Madison, has been periodically joining the Solidarity Singers since the Act 10 protests. On Thursday she held a banner with the blue “solidarity” clenched fist and the words “Save Public Schools” as she sang with the crowd gathered to celebrate Walker’s loss.

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110818-wsj-news-election-folo4

Ellie Connolly, left center, and Christine Taylor, who have been with the Solidarity Sing Along since it began in 2011, celebrated in the Capitol rotunda the day after Tony Evers was elected governor. Members of the group, which on Thursday marks its 2,000th day singing protest songs against Gov. Scott Walker, said they plan to continue singing in support of Evers.

Despite Evers’ win, Ogden said she won’t stop coming to the sing-alongs, at least right away. She’s concerned what legislation Republicans might take up in a lame-duck session at the end of this year.

Ogden also hinted that her visits might become less about protest and more about celebration in 2019.

“I might keep coming,” she said, “to support Tony.”

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(49) comments

Uncle Harry

DMoney - "Good old fashion two cities determining the leadership of the whole state. Dane and Milwaukee counties got Evers elected."

1. Where are the most populated areas in WI?

2. Which party controls the state senate and assembly?

https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/11/07/wisconsin-election-results-gop-strengthens-hold-state-senate/1896694002/

#believefacts


Cassandra2

My question to the Dbag is how he squares his complaint about two cities controlling the state with the national results of the vast majority of voters supporting Democrats, yet the republicans still hold the reins.

Cassandra2

And of course because his logic is so patently faulty, the Dbag retreats back under his rock and won't answer the question.

Uncle Harry

Why would Vos look for ways to limit the power of a position he used to carry water for? I have voted for both parties, including Walker in his first gubernatorial election, but I am disgusted at the tactics that "Republicans" will use to scare their base, and retain power. These are not conservatives.

johnnybragatti

Always remember ,it wasn"t the "socialists", that got Evers elected...it was ,in fact the Republicans.

The Mouse of Death

[censored]It would behoove us to limit the Tony Evers' powers to ceremonial duties only, because this is the sneaky thing to do. We are indeed bemezzled by the Tricky Richard with the Dirty Tricks so that the Benedict Donald and the Jeffrey so the Mueller will be fired so the fun with Moscow will be a secret like the Whitaker cover-up dirty tricks so the I am not a crook when the Tricky Richard so the Tony Evers will be tricked by the GOP which is the Sneaky Daniels and the president cheats on his wife.

johnnybragatti

Walker was looked at as a disgrace, Nationwide.
Walker WAS a disgrace in Wisconsin.
The smiling ,smirking punk, is history and gone with the Wind....Kochers are mad at him.!!!
Can you say "Hallelujah" ???

Climatehoax

I voted Walker, but unlike DemoRats, I accept the results. That means I’m an intelligent classy person/conservative. You won’t hear me saying liberals should be harassed by conservatives, I won’t beat up libs for having different opinions, I won’t slap their hats off and throw their food in their face, I won’t egg liberals, I won’t interfere with people’s right to move freely on our hi ways and at airports, in other words, I’m going to act like a nonviolent, good American, nothing like the libs have done since Trump got elected.

capedcrusader

And yet, Trump is so Presidential isn't he? You have liberal on the brain and Trump is about as mature as Czeczok.

Cassandra2

Careful, Hoaxer. This post will come back to haunt you.

Climatehoax

???? So you’re saying I’m going to go violent, get some dreaded brain disease, and turn into a liberal?? NO CHANCE! I don’t have a low enough mental capacity to do that.

johnnybragatti

spot on dudesicle !!! Your capacity is far lower, like most Trump-Humpers.
Hoaxer , a true ,bonafide basketcase...waiting to happen.

Cassandra2

No, dimwit Hoaxer. What I'm saying is that you claim you'll accept the results. We'll hold you to that every time you complain about the results. You can start accepting it by deleting your account.

capedcrusader

Right, you Republicans have been SO non violent the last few years... Put a gun in their hand and you just turn into little Angels.

johnnybragatti

Repubics didn"t even vote for Walker., o"dummie.
You ain"t that stupid ...is ya? If the president can do it ,so can you!!!
Best to go look in the mirror ,right away.

martian2

Maybe you won't interfere hoaxer man, but the lame duck session coming up wants to interfere. The republicans now want to reduce the powers of the governor before Walker leaves. They want to change the rules again so they can maintain power over the governor cause they just don't like the out come of the election. The people have spoken and they just can't handle it. Typical of these power hungry republicans not to play fair.

wisconsinsquidly

Yeah, cause lots of "intelligent/classy" people refer to their fellow Americans as "DemoRats". Interestingly, the vast majority of recent mass violence has been perpetrated on the American people by conservatives...do your homework...the recent pipebomber, the Las Vegas mass shooting, the shooting in Pittsburgh. The data does not support your claim...but I suspect you and GOP/conservatives will continue to label facts that don't support your agenda as "fake news". You need to wake up and put America first...or move to Russia.

shameless

You know why people block highways and airports and such? Because they had to go to extremes to get your attention. You had to feel the kind of discomfort they deal with on a daily basis. I'd say mission accomplished

Uncle Harry

True conservatives are not braggadocious towards themselves, or others.

DMoney

Voted for Walker but not dissapointed. Change is part of the political cycle. Good luck to Evers getting anything done with Republican legislature and Senate. He'll be a lame duck from day 1.

crank

I feel the same way but lame duck is not terminology I would use. I'm not upset about the Evers win. I've not been a Walker fan since his run for President and then the funding of this Foxconn thing. It will be a good change, I think. Let's see how they all handle it.

Jobaba

Oh No! You mean republicans will be obstructionists!!????

DMoney

Yes. Are you suggesting Democrats are not obstructionists?

Jobaba

Oh No! After 8 years of republicans obstructing Obama, I'm sure democrats learned that it was just wrong!

Cassandra2

It's nice to know that folks like the Hoaxer and Comrade Zerocock who have been telling us all to just shut up and accept the results of the 2016 election will now heed their own advice and never complain in these forums about the most recent results.

crank

I wonder... I suspect they'll accept the results with more grace than Democrats like you did in accepting the 2016 results. Did you see any rioting or tearful melt-downs? No, not so much. But you, assie... Even today, two years later, you're still here squawking about the 2016 result. Is it time to get over it?

As an aside, why are you so fixated on Rick's schwantz? I wonder how quickly the Tribune censors would delete similar comments directed at you and various parts of your anatomy.

martian2

This time crank there was no russian or foreign interference, no outdated electoral college, just straight up and down voting with the majority electing a winner. The way democracy is suppose to work. After we get rid of the gerrymandering and voter suppression laws, we will again be a shining example of democracy for the whole world. Today begins the end of the Trump corruptness. There will be many investigations into Trump's taxes and collusion and whatever else he is hiding. Trump is having a melt down already as you can plainly see in his press conference. Heads are gonna roll on Washington, not by some right wing nut job wanting to mail bombs, but by exposing the truth. Then we will hear squawking like never before, and a lot of embarrassing facts about this president the right wing is not ready to hear.

crank

Or shooting at Republican members of Congress playing ball?? You see martian2, Democrats have their own crackpots too. If it weren’t for that pesky Constitution, you and your fellow crackpots could rule the planet.

Embrassing facts... Hillary corrupted your party to get the nomination. I believe any halfway qualified candidate other than Hillary could have beaten Trump, electoral college or not. While the investigation of Russian interference is conducted, perhaps they’ll also reveal those details about Democrats involved in the Steele dossier nonsense the left wing is not ready to hear.

Now that the Dems have the majority in the House, are they gonna pick the same clowns that ruined the party to run things and anointed Hillary or will they continue on the current course? Bi-partisanship? I’m laughing out loud at your self-righteous ranting. “You just wait! When Auntie Maxine and Nancy get here, you’re all gonna be in BIG trouble. They’re gonna change everything!” LOL!

DMoney

Good old fashion two cities determining the leadership of the whole state. Dane and Milwaukee counties got Evers elected.

martian2

Your obsession with Hillary is becoming fanatical crank. Hillary was investigated for years, no indictments or arrests, no jail time. Something you just can't seem to accept. The "whatabout Hillary" argument has long played itself out. We will see what the democrats bring to the table now that they control the house. I see another shooting last night happened in southern California, 13 dead, including a police officer, many more injured. How much you wanna bet its another right wing fanatical white nationalists who did the shooting? Trump declared himself a "nationalists", he doesn't
use the word white, but we all know its assumed for he won't deny it, and these nut cases feel empowered. Another embarrassing fact about the president his supporters are not ready to accept.

johnnybragatti

A rigged election ,generated by Russian intercourse, that elected so-called 'president" and an opponent who got a whole heckuva lot more votes, ya"ll" would be squawking too...if your gonad faculties were operating.

Uncle Harry

The electoral college elected Trump, not Russian interference.

Honestly who uses "gonad faculties" in their comments? That may entertain my 8 year old, but no reasonable adult is going to read that and feel insulted or burned.

Rick Czeczok

Difference between you and I. I accept the results and will go on living (your still not over Hillbilly losing). Just know that our wallets are going to get lighter. Lighter something you know nothing about. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

capedcrusader

You sir are a man child.

Rick Czeczok

Coming from you , HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

shameless

The irony of a fat joke from Rick is delicious.

Cassandra2

It's interesting that Comrade Zerocock AGAIN has to bring up Hillary Clinton. Talk about not being "over it"!

Rick Czeczok

Oh before you correct me "You're". HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA because you are so smart and find it impossible to let anything go...Big Mac and a double double order of fries please. With a diet coke.....

capedcrusader

BTW Czeczok, what was it you said about Walker winning again? Can you remember?

Cassandra2

Isn't it sad that Comrade Zerocock and his ilk are the best the republicans have to offer?

Rick Czeczok

Yes I do and you make it sound like it was a Tsunami. What was it you said about a blue wave and you used the term Tsunami. More like a stone thrown in the river. If you think you won with the new governor I can't wait for you to start complaining about high taxes again. Whats you real name big shot.

capedcrusader

Czeczok - Not sure if you are talking to me but I never said it would be a tsunami. In fact I figured it would be close as it usually is. They only thing I said is that I hoped for the House and Walker leaving out the door. I was happy with the outcome of both. You are the one that basically guaranteed Walker in a cakewalk. I remember your talking about it too. So why all the juvenile comments of late?

Climatehoax

There’s a difference between disagreeing with the person in office and saying so, vs being a danger to society like the DemoRats have been since Trump got elected.

johnnybragatti

Like "smacking "em in the face", as the Orange Carcass in chief would have you do.
He"ll even pay your legal bills !!!, even though he doesn"t have the money.
Will you ever fix your stupid? Must"ve had a bad bringing up.
I thought so. Perhaps a witchhunt?

shameless

I agree, Trump is a danger to society. His frequent support of violent actions towards those who disagree with his violent/misogynistic/bigoted viewpoints is quite disturbing.

Rick Czeczok

And the press reporting garbage is OK? Yea that doesn't cause any hatred. Get real it's bad on both sides. What's your real name? Oh another guy hiding behind a fake name, like that doesn't cause people to say things they normally would not. You already started with me and I wasn't even talking to you. Real brave buddy!!!!!!!!Now go back and hide under your rock, you coward.

Cassandra2

Only a Russian agent like Comrade Zerocock would refer to reporting facts as "garbage."

Cassandra2

Or like the Magabomber? Or like the synagogue murderer? Or like any other number of right wing mass murderers in the past few years?

capedcrusader

Zackly...

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