State Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) and philanthropist Chris Abele advanced through Tuesday's primary and will square off in the April 5 general election for Milwaukee County executive.
Stone, the only conservative candidate in the five-way primary, attracted 44 percent of the votes cast, while Abele received 25 percent. That meant that 31 percent of the voters voted for the other liberal candidates in the field.
Presuming many of those other voters will now vote for Abele in the April 5 election, the stage is set for a hotly contested, fast-paced race.
Stone is aligning himself as the conservative successor to Gov. Scott Walker and is courting many of Walker's supporters. Abele is attracting the support of the county's liberal base, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
"This race will be between someone that still uses coupons when he shops against a person that can write a check for $450,000.00 to help fund his campaign," Stone said. "I have a track record of voting against tax increases and pension increases while my opponent wants to fund programs ‘like he cares'. It is unclear how much that might cost the tax payers. I am looking forward to a spirited debate with my opponent and trust that the voting public in the county will agree with me that job opportunities and a smaller more responsive government will be the way to go."
Brandon Lorenz, spokesman for Abele's campaign, said, "Voters face a clear choice in April between the status quo and real change that will move our county forward. Chris Abele will partner with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who can help create more private sector jobs and get the budget under control."