RACINE COUNTY — Robert Wittke secured the Republican nomination for the 62nd Assembly District in Tuesday’s primary election, defeating John Leiber by a decisive margin.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Wittke took 67.5 percent of the vote and Leiber trailed with 32.37 percent.
Wittke, president of the Racine Unified School District Board, will face former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, in the Nov. 6 general election. Lehman ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Results are considered unofficial until an official canvass is held.
“First of all, I thank all the people that came out and voted today,” Wittke said Tuesday night. “I think for a primary there are more people who came out in this area and voted, and I appreciate that. Second, I would like to thank every single person that voted for me, every single person that endorsed me and supported me. I am honored to win … all I’m going to do is catch my breath and look forward to the next challenge that’s going to come in November. It’s very exciting to say the least.
“It’s just a very humbling experience. It kind of just leaves you breathless at the end, and I also give a special thanks to my mom, my dad. Without their good name in the Village of Caledonia, I don’t think I could have done this.”
Despite his loss, Leiber, former head of the Caledonia Park Board, said he was happy with his campaign and said he will support Wittke in the general election.
“I’m proud of the campaign I ran,” Leiber said. “I got out thousands of voters. I want to congratulate Mr. Wittke. I wish him the best of luck in November. The goal here is for Republicans to hold the seat, after all ... I’m not just in it for personal reasons. I want to see conservatives win and represent our agenda in Madison.
“All the people on the campaign who supported me, I really want to thank them for their efforts and all the hard work they put in.”
The race was opened up to Leiber, of Caledonia, and Wittke, of Wind Point, when incumbent 62nd District Rep. Tom Weatherston, R-Caledonia, announced in April that he was not seeking re-election. Although Leiber used to work in Weatherston’s office, Weatherston endorsed Wittke and also worked on his campaign.
The 62nd District includes Wind Point, Caledonia, North Bay, Raymond, the Town of Norway, part of Racine and a small part of Mount Pleasant.
On Aug. 7, the race took a turn toward hostility when Leiber filed an ethics complaint against Wittke’s campaign, alleging that Wittke’s campaign literature violated state laws that say campaign communications must clearly disclose who is funding them. Wittke dismissed the complaint as a “dirty trick” while Weatherston said it was “grasping at straws.”
“I think for a primary there are more people who came out in this area and voted, and I appreciate that … I am honored to win.” Robert Wittke, Republican candidate for state Assembly