October 21, 2014

Recounts loom in three primaries

Map UW-Madison

Map UW-Madison

The narrowest of margins separates two Democrats who hope to succeed veteran Republican state Senator Dale Schultz in southern Wisconsin’s 17th Senate District. The unofficial tally has Ernie Wittmer with 3,828 votes and Pat Bomhack has 3,826 – a difference of just two votes cast in the Tuesday primary. The winner will face Republican state Representative Howard Marklein, who had no primary opponent, in the November general election.

A recount appears likely in a state Assembly district in northwest Wisconsin. Overnight returns indicated Michael Bub won the Republican primary in the 87th Assembly District by just three votes over James Edming. Rusk County elections officials now admit that Edming ought to have received 20 votes which were mistakenly given to fourth-place finisher Scott Noble. If that’s the case, Edming will have won the primary by 17 votes over Bub. Bub says he’s not happy with what happened, and he’ll likely request a recount if his loss is confirmed. That won’t happen for about another week, after canvassers in Rusk, Sawyer, and Taylor counties finalize the results. Bub or Noble will face Democrat Richard Pulcher in November, for an Assembly seat given up by Republican Mary Williams of Medford.

The biggest potential recount story continues to be in the 6th Congressional District, where just 214 votes separate Republican state Senators Glenn Grothman and Joe Leibham. With nearly 65,000 votes cast, the margin is within the half-percent threshold that would allow Leibham to request a recount.

Leibham refused to accept the declaration of a Grothman victory by the Associated Press, saying too many wards in his home county of Sheboygan went uncounted. His campaign issued a statement around 2:30 this morning that Leibham will wait to pass judgment on the results until they’re final. The AP subsequently withdrew the declaration of a Grothmann win.