Republican Attorney General Schimel concedes to Josh Kaul

MADISON — Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has conceded to Democrat Josh Kaul.

Schimel announced Monday that he would not seek a recount, even though state law allowed it because the margin of his defeat was less than 1 percentage point.

Canvassed vote totals show Schimel lost to Kaul by just over 17,000 votes.

The win for Kaul makes him the first Democratic attorney general in Wisconsin since his mother, Peg Lautenschlager, held the post from 2002 to 2006. Schimel served one term, succeeding two-term Republican J.B. Van Hollen.

Schimel says in a statement that the 17,000-vote gap was “definitive.” He says, “we felt the odds of finding enough votes were too narrow to justify putting the county clerks, their staff and the public through such an ordeal at this time.”

Attorney General Brad Schimel released the following statement Monday morning, Nov. 19:

“Throughout my career in public service, I have tried to keep the focus of my work on the results, and not myself. I care very deeply about the criminal justice system and hope to find a way to continue the pursuit of justice in the future. However, I will not be requesting a recount of the narrow November election results. While we did receive 77,000 more votes than four years ago, my team and I believe the 17,000 vote gap is definitive. We could have raised the funds necessary to pay for the recount, but in the end, we felt the odds of finding enough votes were too narrow to justify putting the county clerks, their staff and the public through such an ordeal at this time. The people of Wisconsin are good, God is great, and I accept the verdict of the electorate. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Wisconsin’s Attorney General.”

Following the release of Attorney General Brad Schimel’s statement announcing that he will not request a recount, Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul released the following statement:

“I want to thank Attorney General Brad Schimel for his public service.”

“As Attorney General, I’ll work to ensure that Wisconsin is responding to the opioid epidemic like the crisis it is. I’ll make sure that all DNA matches that resulted from the testing of the kits in Wisconsin’s rape-kit backlog are fully investigated, and I’ll work to address the increase in testing times at the state crime labs. I’ll advocate for common-sense gun-safety measures. I’ll ensure that our environmental and consumer-protection laws are being seriously and even-handedly enforced. And I look forward to working with Governor-elect Evers to withdraw the State of Wisconsin from the lawsuit that’s seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions.”

“As your AG, I will be an advocate for all Wisconsinites.”