Abele's campaign clearly hopes the opposition to Walker's collective bargaining restrictions will sway the electorate away from Stone, who voted for Walker's budget repair bill in the state legislature. While the election is technically non-partisan, Democratic support has largely coalesced around Abele, who received an endorsement in Feb. from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D). Despite Walker's eight years running Milwaukee County, the area isn't necessarily friendly terrain for Republicans in the first place. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Barrett defeated Walker by a margin of 62%-38% in the county. Stone finished first in a five-person primary on Feb. 15, capturing 44 percent of the vote. Abele came in a distant second with 25 percent. If Abele defeats Stone on April 5, some observers will undoubtedly paint the result as a loss for Walker, as well.
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