Following a narrow defeat, Republican Gov. Scott Walker conceded Wednesday afternoon, signaling the beginning of an end to his eventful 8-year stint as Wisconsin Governor.
Walker will hand the reins to Democrat Tony Evers, the sitting State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who defeated Walker in one of the closest gubernatorial races in recent state history. Gov. Walker offered the “full support of my staff and our cabinet” as Evers begins the transition process.
Evers’ victory assures split-party control of state government and means Evers will confront the challenge of governing with legislative majorities firmly controlled by Republicans. Evers, said he’s reached out to Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to find “long term, bipartisan solutions” on issues important to Wisconsinites, citing transportation, health care and public education.
Before Tuesday’s elections, Republicans had 18 out of 33 Senate seats and 64 of the 99 Assembly seats. With results now in, Republicans will keep their majority in the state Assembly, although it appears it could shrink by one seat to 63-36 pending a possible recount in a seat in the Wauwatosa area, and they will add to their majority in the state Senate, which grows by one to 19-14.
Two sitting school board members will join the ranks of the Republican majority in the Assembly as both were elected to fill vacancies created by the retirement of an incumbent.
- Timothy Ramthun, a member of the Kewaskum School Board was elected in the 59th Assembly District. He faced no Democratic opposition.
- Robert Wittke, President of the Racine Unified School Board, was elected in the 62nd Assembly District defeating former state Senator John Lehman, a former Senate Education Committee chairman.