By Ariele Vaccaro
At 11:50 p.m., Tuesday night, a group of Sheriff David Clarke’s supporters packed the hall of Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub in downtown Milwaukee.
However, the Sheriff was no where to be seen.
The results of a painfully close race between he and Lieutenant Chris Moews stood stagnant at 51 percent to 49 percent, forcing many of those attending Clarke’s election night party at the bar to get up, pace, and flash a glance at the television every minute in an attempt to shake of some nerves.
Finally, at midnight, one could see a tall figure in a cowboy hat floating through a crowd.
Even after Clarke had completed his brief speech, the results were still not entirely in. However, Clarke exhibited no shortage of confidence.
“When the final results are in, I believe we’ll have another four years.” In fact, he will.
Not until after midnight, did the final results — 52 percent for Clarke, 48 percent for Moews — come in.
Clarke’s supporters appeared to find that reelection was a sure thing.
Sylvia Rodriguez has been supporting Sheriff Clarke since he first entered office in 2002.
“The Sheriff’s going to kick some butt,” said Rodriguez when asked what brought her to the election night party.
According to Rodriguez, the general feeling of the room was “elated”.
Colleen Prostek, a friend and supporter, felt similarly about the Sheriff.
“He’s the right man for the job,” said Prostek. Her husband, Greg Prostek, cited a 150 thousand dollar advertising effort by Michael Bloomberg, a former New York City major, that aimed to unseat Clarke.
An hour earlier, Moews still held hope that the close race would end in victory.
“We’re not ready to concede,” said Moews, at his own election night party at the Hamilton.
“I don’t know how long this is going to last.”
Moew’s family sat at a table in the middle of the hall.
His mother-in-law, Cathy Ganiere, wasn’t ready to give up in the midst of the close race.
“It could turn over,” said Ganiere.
The numbers fluctuated throughout the night. At one point, they reached 44 percent for Moews and 56 percent for Clarke.
However, they never did turn over.
“I’m really sorry that people don’t know Chris,” said Ganiere, noting that voters are “just going to keep voting for the same person because they know the name.”
Moews said, in a press release the following day, that he concedes, accepts the voters’ decision, and hopes that Clarke will “set politics aside, reconsider his go-it-alone approach and work collaboratively and respectfully with law enforcement and municipal leaders to truly make our community safer and stronger.”
Back at Jackson Blue Ribbon Pub, Clarke stood at a podium, surrounded by cameras, and thanked his family who “had to watch their own son being trashed by his opponent,” his wife, Julie, as well as several talk radio hosts..
Clarke, then, moved on to address what he found to be mudslinging against his campaign by Moews’s.
“They threw the kitchen sink at us, and we’re still standing,” said Clarke. “Thank you for having the class that you did. We didn’t have that kind of campaign.”
On November 4, Clarke will run against independent candidate, Angela Walker.
There is no republican candidate.