Longtime Secretary of State Doug La Follette has declared victory with three county canvasses still outstanding.

La Follette, who has held the office for all but four years since 1975, led GOP state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, of Clinton, by more than 7,000 votes, according to unofficial returns collected by The Associated Press.

According to the Elections Commission, Milwaukee, Monroe and Washington counties hadn’t turned in their canvasses as of early yesterday afternoon.

Once the last canvass is returned, Loudenbeck would have three business days to request a recount. The unofficial returns had La Follette’s lead just outside the margin Loudenbeck would need to request a recount and not have to cover the cost.

“This is a victory for the people of Wisconsin, who chose to keep the supervision of elections out of the hands of corrupting partisan influences,” La Follette said.

La Follette added he looked forward to working with Dem Gov. Tony Evers and GOP lawmakers to bulk up the office’s resources and move it out of the Capitol basement.

Loudenbeck said La Follette’s statement doesn’t change anything.

“It’s just another attempt by him to mischaracterize this race by framing my platform as his own while making a veiled and completely inappropriate accusation of corrupt influences,” she said. “My team and I will continue to await the final results of the canvass.”

The Elections Commission Wednesday listed Washington County among the counties that had turned in their canvasses. But a spokesperson said the county had to reconvene. The spokesperson didn’t have details.

A La Follette victory would mean John Lieber would be the only GOP constitutional officer after he won the treasurer’s race.

See La Follette’s release:

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