Courtesy of WisconsinEye

Tony Evers declared victory in the guv’s race early this morning as he pledged to his supporters that he’ll “always work for you.”

And he touted his “positive campaign focused on the issues” of improved schools and roads, as well as affordable health care that includes pre-existing condition protections.

Evers, speaking to a boisterous crowd of supporters from the stage at the Orpheum in downtown Madison, said he’d “be focused on solving problems” rather than picking political fights, adding: “It’s time for change, folks.”

“And now that the race is behind us, I look forward to moving forward together,” he said.

Evers also thanked Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and their families for their “years of service” to the state. He also congratulated them on “running a hard-fought campaign.”

While Kleefisch hinted at preparing for a possible recount in her remarks to supporters early Wednesday, Walker aide Brian Reisinger said the campaign was waiting for the official canvass and for military ballots to be counted before any decisions could be made.

He added thousands “of ballots were damaged and had to be recreated” in Milwaukee, but didn’t provide additional details.

“Until there is a comparison of the original ballots to the recreated ballots, there is no way to judge their validity,” he said.

Lt. guv candidate Mandela Barnes, who spoke before Evers, praised him as “someone who has dedicated his entire life to the children of our state.”

“He is now the man that sent Scott Walker packing,” Barnes said, as the crowd cheered and began chanting, “Tony, Tony, Tony.”

The former state rep said while everyone had “gone through a range of emotions” over the course of Election Day, “in the end we prevailed.”

“Decency won,” Barnes continued. “We are bringing education back to the state of Wisconsin. We are bringing science back to the state of Wisconsin. And we are going to bring equality back to the state of Wisconsin.”

— By Briana Reilly and Lawrence Andrea

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