State Superintendent Tony Evers will face off against Gov. Scott Walker this fall after emerging from an eight-way Dem guv field Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Leah Vukmir prevailed over businesses consultant and former Marine Kevin Nicholson to win the GOP U.S. Senate primary.
Evers quickly got to slamming Walker as he addressed supporters in Madison following his primary victory and applauded his fellow Dems for running largely positive campaigns.
“I’ve watched as Scott Walker has made decision after decision that benefits himself and his wealthy donors, and not what benefits us, the people of Wisconsin,” Evers said at the Best Western Premier Park Hotel. “Walker has been here for eight years and the problems aren’t going away.”
He also pledged he wouldn’t be a “doormat” for President Trump and added he’d be a different kind of politician.
“Unlike most politicians, I won’t make promises I can’t keep. I never have and I never will. As your next governor, I can promise I will be focused on solving problems, not picking petty political fights. Look no further than our crumbling roads and our skyrocketing health care costs,” he said.
Evers was at 41.8 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting, per unofficial returns from The Associated Press. State firefighters union head Mahlon Mitchell was second with 16.4 percent of the vote, and former state Rep. Kelda Roys was at 12.8 percent.
Mitchell, speaking to supporters at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, called on the crowd to “keep our eyes on the prize” of beating Walker come November.
Roys also zeroed in on Walker at her election night gathering at Jardin in Madison, saying she and her backers ran a “positive, forward-looking campaign” instead of focusing on the ways “the current governor has made Wisconsin worse.”
In the U.S. Senate race, Vukmir said her win shows “there’s no substitute for the grassroots” and promised to help President Trump “make America great again.” She also called Baldwin a “disaster” for Wisconsin for supporting “extremist socialists like Bernie Sanders” and “failing our veterans” at the VA Hospital in Tomah.
Per unofficial results, Vukmir received 49 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting, while Nicholson got 42.9 percent.
“Wisconsin needs a senator who represents and will work for the people who make our state great — not the far left or out-of-touch elites,” Vukmir said.
Nicholson and Vukmir had a contentious primary. But in his concession speech, Nicholson said it was “an easy answer” when asked if he would support Vukmir in the fall, calling her a better option to fix the country’s problems than Baldwin.
“That’s why we’ll be there to work for her,” he said.
Nicholson won the backing of Illinois businessman Dick Uihlein, who pumped millions into groups supporting him, while Vukmir was backed by Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks.
Baldwin, D-Madison, seized on that support to say Wisconsinites want a senator who will stand up to special interests, not one “bought-and-paid-for.”
“Leah Vukmir has a long record of putting her corporate special interest backers ahead of hardworking Wisconsin families, making the choice clear this November,” Baldwin said.
In other statewide races:
*Lt. guv: Former state Rep. Mandela Barnes has declared victory in the lt. guv primary over Dem challenger Kurt Kober. Barnes had nearly 68 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns, while Kober, a Sheboygan businessman, had 32 percent, with all precincts reporting.
*Secretary of state: Longtime Dem Secretary of State Doug La Follette turned back a primary challenge Tuesday and will face Republican Jay Schroeder to retain the office he first won 44 years ago. With all of the vote in, La Follette was winning 65.9 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Madison Ald. Arvina Martin. Meanwhile, Schroeder, a licensed mortgage loan officer and small business owner, was at 71.3 percent of the vote to 28.7 percent for Spencer Zimmerman.
*State treasurer: Dem Sarah Godlewski and Republican Travis Hartwig will face off in November after prevailing in their respective partisan primaries for state treasurer today. Unofficial AP results show Godlewski won 43.4 percent of the vote in the three-way Dem primary, with all precincts reporting. Fellow Dems Dawn Marie Sass, a former state treasurer, received 32.3 percent of the vote; while Cynthia Kaump, former spokeswoman for former GOP state Treasurer Kurt Schuller, got 24.3 percent. Meanwhile, Hartwig, the former mutual fund administrator at U.S. Bank Fund Services, won 72.3 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent, Big Bend resident Jill Millies, got 27.7 percent of the vote.
See more results in the Election Blog.