Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has turned back another challenge by Milwaukee Police Lt. Chris Moews.
Unofficial vote totals show Clarke edged Moews 52-48 percent. The battle featured boatloads of money from outside groups. Supporters of both candidates hung on through Wednesday’s early morning hours, hoping for a victory.
The mood was tense all night, among Sheriff Clarke’s supporters. They had gathered at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, west of downtown.
Finally, just before midnight, Clarke took the podium with his wife, Julie at his side. Clarke was wearing his signature cowboy hat, when he thanked his supporters for persevering through a barrage of negative ads from outside groups.
"It’s about all the voters in this county that came out and demonstrated their support and pushed back against the special interests that lined up against us. They threw the kitchen sink at us, but we’re still standing,” Clarke says.
Clarke also tipped his hat to conservative talk radio. Its hosts implored Republican listeners to cross over to the Democratic ballot and vote for Clarke. He has always run as a Democrat, because of the city’s political leaning.
Over at The Hamilton, on Milwaukee’s east side, supporters of Chris Moews continued holding out hope that he would emerge the winner. So did he.
“We’re not ready to concede, we don’t know how long this is going to last. I want you to be able to go home and get some sleep. I’m going to be sticking around for a while, you’re all welcome to stay,” Moews says.
Both Moews and Clarke indicated they would have more to say in the coming days, about their close and intense Primary battle.