WAUWATOSA -- The Associated Press late on Tuesday night, April 5th declared Rebecca Bradley the winner in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. Bradley, who was appointed to the seat last year by Governor Scott Walker was challenged by Court of Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg.
Bradley will serve a 10-year term on the high court.
Bradley had the advantage of incumbency and overcame a spate of negative headlines late in the campaign.
Her opponent had the support of liberals and labor and had built name recognition in a failed Supreme Court run five years ago.
Kloppenburg tied Bradley to Gov. Scott Walker, who appointed Bradley to three judgeships in recent years. That included last fall, when the Republican governor named Bradley to complete the Supreme Court term of the late Justice Patrick Crooks.
Bradley had support from conservatives who spent heavily on attack ads that branded Kloppenburg as soft on crime.
Bradley hosted an "Election Night Watch Party" at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wauwatosa Tuesday evening.
The latest Marquette University Law School poll, released on March 30th, ahead of the April 5th election, found that Bradley was supported by 41 percent with JoAnne Kloppenburg at 36 percent and 18 percent undecided.
Rebecca Bradley, JoAnne Kloppenburg
During this race, Bradley was criticized for offensive writings she wrote while a student at Marquette University.
The liberal group One Wisconsin Now revealed that Bradley once said it was "legitimate" to say women play a role in date rape. The group also uncovered that Bradley also called gay people "queers" and "degenerates" and compared abortion to the Holocaust in college opinion pieces written in 1992.
"I`m somebody who has put myself out there to serve the people of Wisconsin, and I deserve a little more respect than I`m receiving right now," Bradley said to reporters after the debate.
Bradley said she received support from across the state leading up to the election.
"I think there are people who kinda feel sorry for me right now," Bradley said. "I have apologized, and it`s time to move on from the things I said and did when I was a kid 24 years ago."
Bradley said she hoped voters would focus on more than that on Tuesday.
"I'm also really heartened to see that the voters of Wisconsin have responded so well to the positive bipartisan campaign that I have run that has focused on my credentials, my experience and my qualifications," Bradley said.
Bradley was appointed to this position -- and voters on Tuesday decided she will keep it.
For complete coverage of the presidential primary in Wisconsin -- and other races on the ballot on April 5th, CLICK HERE.