Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke was the declared winner of a Democratic primary election after a contest that drew large amounts of outside spending over the issue of gun control.
The National Rifle Association raised money for Clarke's re-election bid, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his anti-handgun group spent heavily to try to help Clarke's challenger, Milwaukee Police Lt. Chris Moews.
Clarke took a nearly 5,000 vote lead late Tuesday, making it likely he'll win when 6,000 absentee ballots are counted.
In remarks to supporters, Clarke thanked a top official of the NRA, as well as several conservative Wisconsin talk-show hosts, who backed the incumbent.
"I'll tell you what, they provided the air support for me over the past couple of weeks as we up against some big-time money for a sheriff's race. I think it's unprecented the amount of money that they brought in, including Michael Bloomberg's money," he said.
The left-leaning Greater Wisconsin Committee also spent heavily to support Moews. He hasn't yet conceded, but admitted that it's highly unlikely he can win enough absentee votes to erase Clarke's lead. Moews said Clarke may continue in office with a record of failure.
Clarke is expected to easily defeat an independent candidate in November.
Looking to the future, Clarke also told reporters on Tuesday night he's considering running for Milwaukee mayor in 2016.