MILWAUKEE -- On spring primary election night Tuesday, February 16th, a four-candidate field for Milwaukee county executive was whittled down to two. Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) was one of three candidates trying to unseat Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. He will face Abele in the April 5th general election.
A central theme in Larson's bid for county executive has been his pledge to restore checks and balances in county government.
Supporters gathered on election night at Larson's campaign headquarters at MLK and North Avenue.
Larson himself wasn't expected to arrive at the election night gathering until very late on Tuesday night/early on Wednesday morning. He was in Madison on Tuesday -- tied up in a Senate session.
Larson has run his campaign touting transparency and painting Chris Abele as someone with too much power.
Larson has raised far less money than Abele -- somewhere around $100,000.
His campaign manager says that shouldn't matter going into April.
"Chris Larson comes from a working family. He has working friends. He doesn't have access to the same money Chris Abele has. What he does have is an army of volunteers and that's really the best way to communicate a message," Joshua Kilroy, Larson's campaign manager said.
Larson's wife addressed supporters at his gathering Tuesday night.
Larson issued this statement on Tuesday night:
“When we first entered the race for Milwaukee County Executive, the skeptics said that we could never beat a millionaire incumbent willing to spend unlimited sums of money.
And despite being outspent nearly 20 to 1 by our opponent, tonight we showed that the race for Milwaukee County Executive is tied as we head into the April general election.
Our incredible showing in the primary is a clear statement from the voters that they are ready for new leadership in Milwaukee County government.
The results of today’s primary shows that voters have embraced our positive message, which focuses on the issues that matter: protecting our parks and public treasures, expanding our transit system, and restoring good government checks and balances to Milwaukee County.”