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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

 4:23 PM 

Gonzalez concedes in 4th District court race

It'll be Richland Co. Judge Edward Leineweber vs. Dane Co. DA Brian Blanchard in the April race for the 4th District Court of Appeals.

The race was set this afternoon after La Crosse Co. Judge Ramona Gonzalez conceded and endorsed Leineweber.

"I believe the taxpayers have already spent enough money on this election," Gonzalez said late this afternoon. "He has my 110 percent support. I am committed to getting a good trial judge from outside of Dane County on that court of appeals. I think that's crucial for that court, and I am confident that he will be victorious in April."

Various media outlets reported different results from yesterday's primary, though all had Blanchard well ahead of his two primary opponents.

WisPolitics checked with the clerks in all 24 counties in the district this morning and found Blanchard with 28,238 votes, Leineweber with 12,964 and Gonzalez with 12,782. There was a scattering of 133 votes.

The Government Accountability Board won't begin receiving totals from the counties until later this week and won't certify the results until next week. But GAB spokesman Reid Magney said the staff contacted the clerks to get some preliminary numbers and got the same results that WisPolitics found in its checks.

State law allows candidates to request a recount without having to pay for it so long as they are within half of a percentage point in terms of their share of the overall vote. Leineweber received 23.96 percent of the vote, while Gonzalez received 23.61 percent, according to the WisPolitics tally. That's well within the requirement for a free recount.

But Gonzalez said she won't pursue that option.

Leineweber campaign manager Sheryl Albers, the former GOP state rep, said the Richland County judge didn't want to comment on Gonzalez's concession, preferring to wait until the official canvass is in.

Earlier in the day, Leineweber said the conflicting vote totals threw off some of his supporters, who sent him a series of e-mails this morning.

"Half of them say sorry. Half of them say congratulations," Leineweber said.

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