After last Tuesday’s controversial in-person election, Wisconsin voters elected Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky to the state Supreme Court over incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly to cut the conservative majority in the court.
Karofsky declared victory Monday evening after votes reporting from Milwaukee County gave Karofsky a three percent lead over Kelly with liberal-leaning Dane County yet to report from three-quarters of their precincts.
Karofsky’s victory is a big win for liberals in Wisconsin — come August, the conservative majority in the Supreme Court will be cut from 5-2 to 4-3.
Her victory also marks the first time since 2008 an incumbent judge lost their seat in an election.
A rollercoaster of decisions drew national coverage and led to last Tuesday’s election proceeding with in-person voting despite the coronavirus outbreak. While Karofsky thanked her supporters, she also reprimanded the circumstances around the election, saying they were “unacceptable” due to the safety risk.
“I want to send a heartfelt thank you to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who made their voice heard in this unprecedented election,” Karofsky said in a statement. “I’m honored to have earned the trust of people across this state who believe in a tough, fair, and independent judiciary and I promise to never forget these principles as their Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.”
This story will be updated as results come in throughout the evening.