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UPDATE: Melissa Lemke Wins the 62nd District Assembly Primary Race

Shortly after 11 p.m., the final results came in for the 62nd Assembly Race, confirming Melissa Lemke the winner of the Democratic primary.

All precincts in the 62nd Assembly District have reported and is the winner. She will face Republican in November.

Melissa Lemke: 1,198

Randy Bryce: 521

Lemke fininshed the primary with about 63 percent of the vote. Results are unofficial until they have been certified by the Board of Canvassasrs, which is expected to meet this week.

After the results were announced, Lemke said she was thankful for the voters who came out to vote and for earning their trust.

"Randy ran a clean campaign and I appreciate all the work he's done, and I look forward to meeting more residents of the district and earning their trust as well as we head into November," she said.

As for how she'll run her campaign heading into the fall, Lemke pledged to keep it clean and stay focused on the issues without getting personal.

"I don't want to do any name-calling and will encourage supporters to keep the tone as civil as possible," she added. "I don't want to surround myself around anything negative or that attacks in any way, and my campaign will be the same way."

Bryce said his campaign was a grassroots effort.

“The working people were standing up with me and I got to meet thousands of people I otherwise would not have and it was overwhelming to me to see what people were willing to help me do,” Bryce said.

Bryce wished Lemke well in her campaign against Weatherston and said he’d like to see her beat him.

“It’s obvious that he’s not a friend of working people and I see him as a person that would rubber stamp whatever Robin Vos wants,” he said.

The 62nd State Assembly District, which includes Caledonia, North Bay, Wind Point, Norway, Raymond, the northern part of Racine and a small part of Mount Pleasant.

How the evening unfolded

9:37 p.m.: At Melissa Lemke's campaign office, she was surrounded by a group of about a dozen friends and family and a few official supporters from the Democratic party. Her spirits were good, and she was pretty relaxed.

"I feel lovely because all the people I care about are around me," she said.

Her mom, Barbara Lemke, was tasked with gathering numbers from a polling location in Caledonia. Other members of Lemke's camp were also placed at polling locations to get the numbers as soon as the tapes were run. She said it was interesting and she learned a lot about the details that go into election results.

"There are a lot of checks and balances, which I had heard about but never really understood," Barbara said. "It's interesting to watch, and I learned a lot."

Snacks were scattered around a large table, like a war room, where people were checking a variety of websites for tallies and results, and people drifted about engaging in casual and comfortable conversations with Lemke and each other, nibbling pizza and sharing jokes.

9:43 p.m.: Randy Bryce's campaign party is at the Shamrock Pub and Grill. Everyone is anxiously waiting the results.

"These are the people that this wouldn’t have been possible without, especially Barbara and Mark Balwinski – they have been a huge help," Bryce said. "There’s been a lot of moral support from the people I’ve known and been involved with over the years."

10:09 p.m.: Melissa Lemke said: "Happy that everyone is here; I'm grateful for everyone who went out to vote and who supported me volunteering. Grateful to Randy, too, for running such a civil campaign. Just looking forward to finding out the final results and hopefully getting back to work reaching out to voters of the 62nd Distrcit."

10:18 p.m.: Tom Weatherston, the Republican candidate has 3,101 votes.

10:26 p.m.: With half of the vote yet to come in, Bryce's supporters are cautiously optimistic that he'll win. Still, the mood remained anxious as campaign supporters huddled around the television.

Laurie Daft, a voter from the Town of Norway, said "It's not over 'til it's over."

John Epple, also from the Town of Norway, said he's cautiously optimistic.

"We've still got half to count, I'm hoping he can get the other areas," Epple said.

10:48 p.m.: Members of the Racine County Democratic Party waited out the election results at Robert's Roost on Main Street in Racine.  State Rep. Cory Mason, Racine Mayor John Dickert and Meg Andreitsch, secretary of the state party, invited both Bryce and Lemke to join them, but as of 10:40 p.m., only Lemke and her supporters had joined the group.

"We invited both candidates because we are totally non-biased in this race," Andreitsch said. "We hope Randy joins us tonight because either way, we're ready for November."

Murmurs went up from the crowd as former Gov. Tommy Thompson's win was announced, but with most precincts in the 62nd reporting by 10:45 p.m., spirits remained high.

 

 

 

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