Tony Evers will serve a second term as governor of Wisconsin.
The race was called just before 1:30 AM E.T. with 7% of the vote still outstanding. At that time, Evers had 50.4% of the vote to his opponent’s 48%.
Evers, a Democrat and first-term governor, defeated Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2018 – ending an eight-year Republican leadership in the state in the process.
Prior to his current position, he was superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction from 2009 until 2017.
Evers has fought against a state law from the 1800s that bans abortion following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. He has called Republican Tim Michels’ stance on the issue “radical.”
“Women should have the ability and the right to make decisions about their health care, including their reproductive health care, and that includes abortion,” he said at a debate in October.
Evers has also advocated for “red-flag” laws and background checks for potential gun owners.
Michels owns the state’s largest construction company and has spent a reported $4 million of his own money on his campaign. The construction executive said he wanted to serve “hardworking, law-abiding, taxpaying Wisconsinites who deserve better” and were unhappy with current Governor Tony Evers.
“I am working every day to defeat Tony Evers and get Wisconsin back on track,” the Republican nominee said in a campaign statement. “There are a lot of people across Wisconsin who crave strong leadership.”
Michels and Evers have sparred over how the incumbent handled COVID-19, including stay-at-home orders and mask requirements.
President Donald Trump endorsed Michels on June 2.
“Wisconsin needs a Governor who will Stop Inflation, Uphold the Rule of Law, strengthen our Borders … and End the well-documented Fraud in our Elections,” Trump said. “Tim Michels is the best candidate to deliver meaningful solutions to these problems, and he will produce jobs like no one else can even imagine. Tim is an America First Conservative who Supports our Second Amendment, Honors our Brave Law Enforcement and First Responders, and Stands Strongly against the Woke Mob trying to destroy our Country.”
After Michels’ primary victory, a campaign official for Evers called him “the most extreme and divisive nominee possible.”
Polls showed the candidates were tied – 48% to 48% – in the final days leading up to Nov. 8.
Evers thanked Michels for a “hard-fought campaign” in his victory speech.
“I’m jazzed as hell to tell you that on January 3rd, 2023, I will still be the 46th governor of the great state of Wisconsin,” he said. “Holy mackerel, folks. How about that?”