Wisconsin’s high-stakes Supreme Court race appeared headed for a recount Tuesday.
As the unofficial vote count was nearly complete, conservative Brian Hagedorn and liberal-backed candidate Lisa Hagedorn were separated by just a few hundred votes out of more than 1.1 million cast, well within the 1 percentage point difference that allows the trailing candidate to request a recount.
The last time that happened in a Wisconsin Supreme Court race was in 2011.
Conservatives have been in the majority since 2008, currently with a 4-3 split.
Their majority would increase to 5-2 if Hagedorn defeats Neubauer.
A win by Neubauer would give liberals a chance to take control in 2020.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has been the final word in some of the most partisan battles in the state over the past decade.
It has upheld several polarizing laws passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, none more so than GOP former Gov. Scott Walker’s law that essentially eliminated collective bargaining for public workers.
Now with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers often at odds with the Republican-controlled Legislature, the Supreme Court’s role could be even more crucial in settling disputes.
Associated Press writer Ivan Moreno contributed to this report from Franklin, Wisconsin.