AP NEWS

The Latest: Neubauer won’t concede or promise recount

April 3, 2019
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FILE - In this March 15, 2019 file photo, Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn speaks during a debate with opponent Lisa Neubauer at the Wisconsin State Bar Center in Madison, Wis. A Republican group announced Tuesday, March 26, 2019 it is launching a seven-figure ad buy a week before the April 2 election to boost candidate Hagedorn in his race against Lisa Neubauer. The Republican State Leadership Committee's Judicial Fairness Initiative said it was spending at least $1 million on the effort, which would be the most significant outside spending for Hagedorn so far. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Supreme Court race (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Lisa Neubauer isn’t conceding or saying whether she will seek a recount, despite being down by nearly 6,000 votes based on unofficial results.

Neubauer said in a video posted on Facebook on Wednesday that “this race is still too close to call.” She says, “We need to make sure that every last vote is counted and that’s going to take a little time.”

Her opponent, Brian Hagedorn, has declared victory in Tuesday’s election and said a recount would be pointless.

Neubauer was backed by liberals while Hagedorn had conservative support. A Hagedorn win would keep the state Supreme Court under conservative control until at least 2023.

Neubauer would have to pay for a recount because the margin of victory wasn’t close enough to have taxpayers foot the bill.

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10:50 a.m.

The conservative candidate who holds a narrow lead over his more liberal opponent in Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election says he’s ready for a recount even though he doesn’t think one would “make a whole lot of sense.”

Brian Hagedorn held a news conference Wednesday morning in Pewaukee to talk about his nearly 6,000-vote lead over opponent Lisa Neubauer. Her campaign has already started fundraising for a possible recount.

Hagedorn says he believes his lead is insurmountable. He says many voters didn’t believe Neubauer’s attacks on his past conservative writings, which he called misleading and inaccurate. Hagedorn says some voters may have viewed those as attacks on people of faith.

Hagedorn is an evangelical Christian and spent much of the race defending his conservative beliefs.

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10:20 a.m.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court race could go to a recount, with the conservative candidate holding a narrow lead over his-liberal backed opponent following Tuesday’s election.

Conservative candidate Brian Hagedorn declared victory early Wednesday based on a nearly 6,000-vote margin. The Associated Press is not yet calling the race because it could go to a recount.

Hagedorn was ahead of Lisa Neubauer by about half a percentage point, based on unofficial results with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Neubauer’s campaign has started fundraising for a possible recount.

Counties have until April 12 to report certified vote totals to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Once the last report is in, Neubauer will have three days to request a recount.

She would have to pay for the recount. A presidential race recount in 2016 cost $2 million. A Supreme Court recount would be less, given that about 1.2 million votes were cast compared with 2.9 million in the presidential race.

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6 a.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn is declaring victory, even though his opponent says the race is almost certainly headed toward a recount.

Hagedorn issued a statement early Wednesday morning saying his margin of victory in Tuesday’s election is “insurmountable.” With 99% of precincts reporting, Hagedorn had a 5,911-vote lead out of 1.2 million cast. That is about half a percentage point over Lisa Neubauer, within the 1 percentage point margin that allows for her to request a recount. However, she would have to pay for it.

Earlier Tuesday night, Neubauer’s campaign manager Tyler Hendricks said “We are almost assuredly headed to a recount.”

Hagedorn was backed by conservatives and a victory would increase their majority control of the court to 5-2. Neubauer had liberal backing, including support from former Democratic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

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1 a.m.

After more than 1.2 million votes, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race is still up in the air.

Tuesday’s election between conservative Brian Hagedorn and liberal-backed Lisa Neubauer was too close to call at night’s end, with Hagedorn clinging to a 1,600-vote margin with 99% of the unofficial vote tallied.

That was far below the 1-point margin that allows the trailing candidate to request a recount — and even below the quarter-point margin in which the state pays for it. Neubauer spokesman Tyler Hendricks said the campaign almost certainly would go to a recount.

Neubauer outraised Hagedorn by significant margins and got strong outside help as liberals hoped to position themselves for a court takeover next year. That’s now in doubt. Hagedorn also contended with attacks over conservative writings from his past.