MADISON (WKOW) — Governor-elect Tony Evers made his first appearance after winning the midterm Wednesday afternoon, just moments before his opponent Scott Walker conceded.
Evers was joined by running mate Lt. Governor-Elect Mandela Barnes and State Rep.-Elect Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.
Walker conceded around 2 p.m. after his campaign said they waited for additional information on the nearly 47,000 absentee ballots in Milwaukee County — after reports came in about roughly 2,000 being damaged.
After finding out those ballots wouldn’t make a dramatic shift in the results, Walker released this statement:
“Thanks to Tony Evers for his gracious comments on our call,” wrote Walker. “I offered the full support of my staff and our cabinet as he begins the transition process… It has been my honor to serve as your governor for nearly eight years.”
Evers addressed their phone call, saying he is pleased to get his support moving forward.
“He was very gracious and talked about this transition on how his staff will be here to create a new government, it was a very good conversation,” said Evers.
Evers also added he will be releasing additional information about his transition team in the next few days. The Democrat also said he plans to work together with the Republican-controlled state Legislature to find common ground with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
“I know both of them very well so it’s not going to be like we have to get to know each other really. We want to talk to them about how we can set the stage going forward so we can find common ground on these important issues.”
Speaker Vos said he’s open to finding common ground but won’t cave on reforms already made.
“We’re not going to compromise any of the principals that we have,” said Vos. “We’re not going to grow our government and we’re not going to turn out back on the success we have for the past eight years.”
Evers Deputy Communication Director said they hope the Speaker wouldn’t create division hours after the election.
“These are the same desperate antics of politicians hell-bent on staying in power after eight years,” said Britt Cudaback. “The people of Wisconsin deserve better from our government, and that’s why they voted for a change yesterday.”
The Speaker also said he’d be open to shifting power in the Executive Branch.
“Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Governor Walker, I’d be open to look at that to see if there are areas where should change,” said Vos. “But that’s far too early to do that until we talk to Sen. Fitzgerald.”
Evers is expected to be sworn into the governor’s office on January 7th.