MADISON — Josh Kaul, declaring victory in the AG race, pledged to be independent and “an advocate for all Wisconsinites.”

Kaul, who addressed supporters and media outside the Dane County Courthouse this morning, also said he’d work with Dem guv-elect Tony Evers to withdraw the state from its involvement in a lawsuit looking to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

And he said he’d fight for a “more serious” approach to school safety, including long-term funding for mental health in schools.

Kaul’s comments come as the current margin gives Kaul a 22,900 vote lead over Republican AG Brad Schimel with all precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

Kaul said while the race hasn’t yet been called, Schimel called him this morning to congratulate him.

“While this race was close the results were also clear,” he said.

Thanking Schimel, Kaul said he has “enormous respect” for the AG’s career in public service.

“We ran a spirited campaign,” Kaul added.

Schimel in a statement this morning just before Kaul’s remarks said he called the Dem and “while the results are not final, it appears (Kaul) has won this race.”

But Schimel added he’s waiting until the municipal and county canvasses are complete, as well as the counting of military ballots. And he’s looking to learn more about Milwaukee County’s absentee ballots.

“However, if the margin does not substantially change, I have vowed that my team will assist him in making the transition as smooth as possible,” Schimel said, adding: “We will all know more in about a week.”

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