Two political races in the embattled state of Wisconsin haven finally given the Democrats a reason to smile.

In what many see as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker, the left-leaning Chris Abele has defeated Jeff Stone, a Republican, in the contest to replace Walker as Milwaukee County executive. But the biggest and most noteworthy race seems to be deadlocked as of press time.

Out of the nearly 1.5 million votes cast, incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser and his challenger, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, are separated by less than 600 votes in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

With 99 percent of the votes reported, Prosser leads Kloppenburg 733,074 votes to 732,489. If the margin between Prosser and Kloppenburg is anywhere between 0.5 percent and 2 percent, the candidate who requests a recount will be charged $5 per ward, according to the Government Accountability Board of Wisconsin. If the margin is less than 0.5 percent, there is no charge for the request.

Wisconsin does not automatically call for recounts, and the candidates have three days to request one.

The race for Wisconsin State Supreme Court has major implications for Walker and the unions at large. As the AmNews reported two weeks ago, Dane County Court Judge Maryann Sumi, in response to a complaint brought by the county district attorney on behalf of a few public officials, issued a court order to stop Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette from making a bill curbing public employees’ right to collectively bargain into law.

“It seems to me the public policy behind effective enforcement of the open meeting law is so strong that it does outweigh the interest, at least at this time, which may exist in favor of sustaining the validity of the [law],” said Sumi.

Sumi is blocking the law until she is able to rule on a challenge to the way the bill was passed by Walker and Wisconsin Republicans. State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who is a Republican, has announced his plan to appeal Sumi’s ruling.