GOP Gov. Scott Walker Concedes To Democrat Tony Evers

Democratic Governor-Elect Evers To Be Sworn In Jan. 7

Scott Walker
Scott Walker. Andy Manis/AP Photo

Nearly 12 hours after the race was called for Democratic governor-elect Tony Evers, Gov. Scott Walker released a statement conceding the race.

Walker, who was seeking his third term, began by thanking God, in a statement released at 1:52 p.m. Wednesday.

“Win or lose, God’s abundant grace is more than enough for any of us,” Walker wrote, going on to thank his family.

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“My wife Tonette is amazing. She has been my rock and the core of our family. She has been a tremendous leader on addressing the issue of trauma. I love her so very much and am grateful that we will spend the rest of our lives together,” Walker said, also thanking his sons and mom, and later, his supporters.

“Thank you to all of our amazing supporters who worked so hard and gave so much of their time, talent and treasure to our efforts. I am so deeply grateful for their help!” he added.

Walker wrote that he offered the “full support of his staff an cabinet” to Evers to help during the transition period. Evers is the current state superintendent of schools.

The statement also addressed Walker’s decision to wait to concede, pointing to the nearly 47,000 additional ballots the city of Milwaukee counted late — as a result of damaged ballots.

Before sending people home in the wee hours Wednesday morning and before the race was called, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch floated the idea of a possible recount because of these ballots.

“This morning, we are preparing for the likelihood of a recount,” Kleefisch said shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. The race was called at 1:24 a.m. Wednesday.

But after further inquiry, Friends of Scott Walker determined any change would not be significant enough to change the result of the election, which Evers won by a margin of 49.55 percent to Walker’s 48.47 percent.

Finally, Walker thanked the people of Wisconsin.

“Finally, thank you to the voters of the great State of Wisconsin. 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,” he said.

A young girl named Phoenix meets governor-elect Tony Evers, center, Lt. Gov.-elect Mandela Barnes, right, and state Rep. Shelia Stubbs, left, at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County in Madison on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. Phoebe Petrovic/WPR

Walker made his concession moments before Evers made his first public appearance as governor-elect in Madison at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. Lieutenant governor-elect Mandela Barnes and state Rep. Shelia Stubbs were also at the Boys & Girls Club where they received a tour and read to children.

“I received a gracious call from Gov. Walker who just a little bit ago said that he conceded the race and was very gracious and talked about the transition and how his staff will be available for our staff to create the new government and it was a very, very good conversation,” Evers said.

Evers said he will announce his transition team in the coming days and wants to have an administration filled with people who reflect the “diversity the state of Wisconsin has” and who “put the people of Wisconsin first.”

Since winning the race, Evers has reached out to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, to talk about reaching bipartisan solutions to health care, roads and public education.

“I dont think there’s gonna be any disagreement on the ultimate goal, we just have to find that middle ground,” Evers said.

Evers also said he was “confident about our possibilities all the way along” the campaign trail.

Governor-elect Tony Evers at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County in Madison on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.Phoebe Petrovic/WPR

Editor’s note: This story was last updated at 4:41 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, to include comments from Tony Evers.

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