MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former state representative who says he “came up just short” in the Republican primary race for Wisconsin attorney general urged his supporters Wednesday to unite behind Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney.
Adam Jarchow issued the apparent concession as unofficial but nearly complete results showed him trailing Toney by fewer than 4,000 votes, or about 0.6% of the vote. The winner will face Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul.
“In a close and highly contested race, we came up just short,” Jarchow tweeted. “It’s time to unite behind @EricJToney and ensure he has the resources and support needed to fire Josh Kaul. Eric Toney has my full support.”
Karen Mueller, who ran as an outsider who wants to decertify the 2020 presidential election results, ran a strong third with nearly 26% of the vote.
The Associated Press hadn’t declared a winner as of early Wednesday.
Jarchow could seek a recount if the final difference between him and Toney is less than 1 percentage point. But Jarchow did not discuss that option in a statement blasting Kaul and saying that Toney has the “political fortitude to right the ship” and “has my full support.”
Jarchow outraised Toney as he ran to the right of him in the race. But Toney touted his experience in the courtroom, emphasizing that Jarchow had never tried a criminal case.
Kaul’s campaign on Wednesday tried to frame the race as being about stark contrasts and hot-button issues, including gun rights and abortion rights. Toney supports an 1849 state law banning all abortions except to save the life of the mother, while Kaul is suing to overturn the law.
Kaul also supports universal background checks and a “red flag” law that would allow judges to take guns away from people determined to be a threat to themselves and others, efforts that Toney opposes.
Kaul campaign manager Sondra Milkie said Toney would represent “the far-right fringe.”