Milwaukee philanthropist Chris Abele has won the special election to fill the Milwaukee County executive seat, which Republican Gov. Scott Walker held for eight years before he was elected governor last fall.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Abele won the election with 61% of the vote.
Republican state Rep. Jeff Stone, who was widely seen as the frontrunner in the race, captured 39% of the vote.
Stone conceded the race at about 10:05 p.m., saying that “unfortunately, it’s not going to go our way.”
Abele campaigned with $1 million of his own money as someone with fresh ideas to tackle the county’s nagging financial problems. Though light on specifics, Abele outlined an approach that emphasises efficiency moves. He put much of his advertising firepower into trying to fuse Stone with Gov. Scott Walker and his controversial push to end most collective bargaining for public employees.
Stone took 43% of the vote in February’s primary election, with Abele trailing by 18 points.