Two state Dem lawmakers will square off in April to decide the next Milwaukee County exec.

With almost all of the vote in, Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, was at the top of a four-way pack at 36 percent, while Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, was next at 35 percent.

County Board Chair Theo Lipscomb was third at 16 percent, while businesswoman Purnima Nath was fourth with 13 percent.

Larson ran against Milwaukee County Exec Chris Abele in 2016, losing the general election with 44 percent of the vote. He announced plans to run again after Abele opted against seeking reelection this spring.

Abele’s group Leadership Milwaukee ended up backing Crowley with digital ads and mail ahead of the primary. The group reported spending $240,054 on the effort.

Larson alluded to that help as he said voters “are tired of the super rich trying to buy our elections and our democracy for themselves.”

“Our campaign is about people power, not the wealthy influencing this race,” Larson said.

Crowley said the focus in the race should be on what he and Larson are offering voters, not on Abele.

“We’ve been campaigning about building bridges here locally and building bridges across this state with our neighboring counties, but also making sure we can work with the state Legislature,” Crowley said. “I think folks understand whoever is going to run Milwaukee County is going to have to play well in the sandbox without compromising their values.”


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