Clerks prepare for recount in tight Congressional race

CREATED Aug 13, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 13, 2014

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SHEBOYGAN - A recount may be brewing in Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District GOP primary.  State Senator Glenn Grothman is claiming victory, but fellow State Senator Joe Leibham is within a few hundred votes. 


It is uncertain who will advance in their bid to replace retiring Republican Congressman Tom Petri.

Numbers looked solid for Grothman for several hours after the polls closed.  Leibham surged after midnight as Sheboygan County posted their results.

Sheboygan County Clerk Jon Dolson said adding data to an upgraded elections website took much longer than anticipated.

“It’s an apology from me,” Dolson explained.  “Leibham had a significant lead over Grothman in this county and we weren’t aware of any other county returns.  So, we didn’t think it was close.”

Grothman is standing by the victory he claimed late on election night.

“I’m confident that the lead we have today will hold strong and I look forward to a speedy certification of the results, a robust general election campaign and another victory on November 4,” Grothman said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement.

Leibham never conceded as he awaited results in Sheboygan County, where he lives. 

“The numbers have tightened dramatically from the last information you’ve seen publicly,” Leibham told supporters overnight.  “We are close.  We have to see where things are in the morning.”

If the current numbers hold, Leibham could request a recount at the state’s expense.  There are no automatic recounts in Wisconsin.

“I am preparing as if there is going to be a recount called later this month,” said Fond Du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg.

When the dust settles, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris will face whoever wins the GOP primary.  The lone Democrat anticipated a close GOP finish.

“My campaign has to proceed and we’re going on with an eleven county campaign,” Harris said.  “We really had no idea which one would ultimately win this race.”

Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) conceded the race after finishing in third place.