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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

 11:56 PM 

Gableman declares victory, Butler concedes 'privately'

Burnett County Judge Michael Gableman became the first person to knock off a sitting Wisconsin Supreme Court justice in more than 40 years Tuesday, edging incumbent Louis Butler.

With 93 percent of the vote in, Gableman had 400,310 votes, or 51 percent, compared to 379,556 votes for Butler, or 49 percent, according to unofficial returns.

Gableman declared victory tonight, calling it a win for law enforcement and those "who envision a more traditional role" for judges.

Then-Chief Justice George Currie lost his re-election bid in 1967. He was two years away from a mandatory retirement age in place at the time and joined the majority in an opinion that allowed baseball's Braves to vacate Milwaukee for Atlanta.

Read a biography of Currie from the state Supreme Court Web site

Butler campaign released the following statement around midnight: "The campaign is privately conceding. The margin is too great to make up, and the candidate will have a statement in the morning."

-- By JR Ross

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