Milwaukee County Executive Race: Larson Concedes To Crowley

Apr 14, 2020

Updated at 12:54 p.m. CT 

In an extremely close contest, state Rep. David Crowley won the race for Milwaukee County executive. Crowley beat state Sen. Chris Larson, who says he's not going to challenge the results. 

>>Wisconsin Spring Election Results

Out of all the elections that were called in Milwaukee on Monday, this one took the longest. For hours Rep. David Crowley held the lead with razor-thin margins, prompting many news outlets to call the race prematurely. But Sen. Chris Larson's campaign held out hope as his supporters waited for a final batch of ballots from Wauwatosa to be counted. But by 9:30 p.m., it was clear that Crowley had the lead with 1,039 more votes.

"I do not take lightly the fact that I am entering office in unprecedented times and in the middle of a public health crisis. However, tonight I am both proud and hopeful,” Crowley said in a statement on Facebook.

After a night of soul searching, Larson said Tuesday that he decided not to pursue a recount.

“We looked at the closeness of the election and we went through where it would be possible to make up the 1,000-vote difference. Given there were still a lot of questions about what ballots were acceptable and what ballots weren’t, for us we realized having that prolonged fight would further divide the community at a time we need to come together,” Larson said during a video conference Tuesday afternoon.

The election for Milwaukee County executive took place during a global COVID-19 pandemic that brought traditional campaigning to a halt. Many voters who requested absentee ballots never received them. Others went to the polls, wearing protective masks and gloves.