Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has won the Democratic primary and will face Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a June 5 recall election that has become a nationally watched battle over union rights.
Based on preliminary results in Tuesday's primary, Barrett beat three other Democrats and one Republican running as a Democrat.
Preliminary results show Barrett had 54 percent of the vote. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who was the favorite candidate of major unions, was second with 37 percent. Secretary of State Doug La Follette got 3 percent followed by state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout with 4 percent.
Gladys Huber, the fake Democrat, got less than 1 percent.
The Barrett win sets up a rematch of the 2010 governor's race in which Walker won by 5 percentage points.
Major Wisconsin unions that had endorsed Falk in the Democratic primary for governor are now backing Barrett.
Unions have had a rocky relationship with Barrett during his eight years as Milwaukee mayor, and some leaders urged him not to get into the race.
But following his win, praise came from the statewide teachers union, the largest union representing state workers and the AFL-CIO.
Leaders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says they will do everything they can to defeat Walker.
The recall was spurred by Walker's proposal effectively ending collective bargaining rights for most public workers.
Thirty minutes before polls closed, the Republican Party of Wisconsin emailed a statement saying Democrats were still divided after the primary by choosing Barrett.
The email quoted Republican Party spokesman Ben Sparks reacting to what the party said were the results of the primary.
Sparks is quoted as saying Barrett's "failed record in Milwaukee has been a serious concern throughout this contentious primary, and tonight, many Democrats showed they're still not convinced he's the right candidate to challenge Governor Walker."
Sparks did not immediately return an email seeking comment.