The Associated Press has declared incumbent Bryan Steil the winner in the 1st Congressional District.
Bryan Steil, a Republican from Janesville, won a second two-year term by defeating newcomer Democrat Roger Polack of Caledonia.
Vote totals were not immediately available as large numbers of absentee ballots were still being counted late Tuesday night.
A spokeswoman said Steil would not be available for comment until Wednesday.
“We have important work ahead of us, and I will continue fighting every day to defeat coronavirus, ensure everyone who wants a job has a job and keep our communities safe,” Steil said in a statement. “Thank you for your confidence in me.”
Polack said he had not decided whether to run again, saying, “I’m going to let this sit for a bit. …
“It’s not the result we wanted, but I feel I gave it my all and had a fantastic core of volunteers and supporters and worked hard to get our message out there, but obviously came up short today,” he said.
Polack is a lawyer who grew up in Racine and had worked for the U.S. Treasury Department, including a tour in Afghanistan, where he worked to track terrorist funding.
Polack’s most recent job was with a large law firm in Washington, D.C., and Republicans tried to paint him as creature of “the swamp” who owned two houses in D.C.
Steil is a corporate attorney who jumped into electoral politics in 2018 when Rep. Paul Ryan decided not to run again.
Steil has been a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, but the two appeared to get even closer after riots broke out over the shooting of a man by Kenosha police.
Steil called on the president to send in federal resources to stem the violence and repeatedly praised Trump’s response.
Trump praised Steil during a campaign stop at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville.
Steil vastly out-fundraised Polack, $3.24 million to $483,251 at last count.
Steil made numerous public appearances throughout the district, often posing with police as he embraced the Republican law-and-order strategy.
Polack was rarely seen. He said he made his pitch through electronic media that targeted likely Democratic voters.
The 1st Congressional District has become a Republican-leaning district over the years as politicians changed boundaries to exclude Beloit and expanded northeastward toward Milwaukee. But President Barack Obama won the district twice.