OSHKOSH - Speaking to supporters shortly after midnight Wednesday, newly-elected Republican State Senator Rick Gudex declared victory in the 18th State Senate District race.
With all district precincts reporting - Gudex tallied a total of 43,039 votes to incumbent Democratic State Senator Jessica King's 42,449. A difference of 590 votes.
"We're victorious and we're going to Madison!" said Gudex at the campaign celebration in Fond du Lac.
The current Fond du Lac City Council president says undertaking a campaign wasn't an easy choice, but the right choice.
"We're going to work on the economy and we're going to work with our businesses to make things better here in the state of Wisconsin," said Gudex.
At about the same time as Gudex, incumbent state Senator Jessica King took to the microphone, to address her supporters in Oshkosh.
"It's just a wonderful testament to our democracy that in the 18th State Senate district we have very close races," said King.
King did not say she is conceding the close race, but is instead waiting for it to be all said and done.
"At this point, we're going to just see what happens with the board of canvassers. But I want you to know that it's been a great campaign, my fifth campaign in 6 years, I have to tell you that, what a race," said a visibly tired King.
After King spoke, the Wisconsin Democratic Party would not allow media availability with King. However, King released the following statement Wednesday morning:
"I would like to thank all the volunteers and supporters who put their heart and soul into my campaign. I am humbled by their support and I work hard every day as their State Senator because I know, by working together, we can move Wisconsin forward. That is why I am not conceeding this race until every vote is counted and verified. After last night this race is to close to call and will wait until the county clerks have completed their canvass."
Gudex also released a statement Wednesday:
"I am very thankful that the citizens of the 18th Senate District have decided to move this state forward. I am ready and eager to get to work for all of the hard working residents of the district. This election has shown that with hard work, anything is possible. I want to thank everyone for their support over the last year and I am dedicated to working with my fellow legislators to get to work immediately to address Wisconsin's most important issues."
It's not known if King will request a recount.
King won the 18th Senate District seat from Republican Randy Hopper in the August 2011 recall elections.
The district includes parts of Winnebago and Fond du Lac counties.
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