Gov. Scott Walker (R) defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) in the Wisconsin recall election, marking the first time a gubernatorial recall election was unsuccessful in U.S. history.
"Tonight, we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country, and we tell people all across the globe, that voters really do want people who stand up and make the tough decisions," Gov. Walker told supporters at his victory night rally. "Now it is time to move forward in Wisconsin."
He told supporters that he had spoken with Mayor Barrett, quieting supporters who wanted to "boo" the losing candidate. Gov. Walker said they agreed to work together to move Milwaukee and Wisconsin forward.
He promised to invite all the members of the state legislature over for "some brats and burgers... and maybe some Wisconsin beer, as well."
Turnout was exceptionally high in some precincts, with voters still waiting in line more than 90 minutes after the polls closed. As long as voters were in line at the 8pm CT poll closing time, they were allowed to vote.
Walker led by nine points as results continued to come in late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Tom Barrett, in a speech to supporters, said that he spoke with Gov. Walker to concede. "It's important for us to work together," he said. "What we have seen over the last 16 months, is we have seen this democracy come alive." He urged supporters of both himself and Gov. Walker to listen to each other, saying the state was deeply divided.
Residents in the Badger State also voted Tuesday whether to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who faced Democrat Mahlon Mitchell, AP is projecting that Lt. Gov. Kleefisch will retain her office. Four Republicans also retained their State Senate seats in recall elections Tuesday night.
Governor Walker and Mayor Barrett participated in two televised debates last month. Scott Walker defeated Tom Barrett 52-46 percent in the 2010 state governor’s race.
This is the third recall election of a governor in U.S. history. The other two elections were successful in recalling the incumbent: California Gov. Gray Davis (D) in 2003 and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.