A volunteer hands out surgical masks to voters at Riverside High School on Milwaukee's east side to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Adam Kelnhofer.

Chris Larson said today he won’t seek a recount in his narrow loss to fellow Dem lawmaker David Crowley in the Milwaukee County exec’s race.

Numbers from the Milwaukee Elections Commission had Crowley, a state representative, with a 1,039-vote lead out of nearly 193,000 votes cast.

“He’s a good man, and his success will mean our county’s success,” Larson said on a video call with reporters. “I’ll hope you join me in hoping he’s successful in leading the county forward.”

Larson, a state senator, called it the oddest election of his career, starting with three candidates hiring the same people to circulate their nomination papers, resulting in two of them being booted from the ballot. Then there was the COVID-19 pandemic that made campaigning difficult.

He also knocked the personal money outgoing County Exec Chris Abele poured into the race through his Leadership Milwaukee group. The organization reported $782,399 in independent expenditures backing Crowley’s effort against Larson, who lost to Abele in 2016.

“I think his money played an outside influence in this. He decided that he would spend his family’s wealth once again,” Larson said.

The final numbers from the Milwaukee County Elections Commission also included 17,171 people who cast ballots in last week’s election, but skipped voting in the county exec contest.

Larson said those were voters who voted in top-of-the-ticket races and skipped the rest of the ballot or were Republicans who saw two Dem lawmakers vying for the office and “just walked away.”

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