A recall effort to unseat Audrey Kader came up short on Tuesday, with La Crosse's City Council President defeating her two opponents by a wide margin.
Kader received 196 votes, or about 73% of the vote. Jerome Gundersen, a remodeling contractor, received 42 votes. Gage Maurer, a Viterbo University student, received 26 votes.
A provision in state election law says there does not need to be a general election when a candidate wins the majority of the vote in a non-partisan recall primary.
Kader tells News 8 that she's relieved by her victory and excited to be able to put her focus back on her work at city hall. She says the recall effort, organized by the Restore La Crosse Committee, was an unnecessary distraction.
"Unfortunately, that group of people has been a constant distraction," said Kader.
"They've been attempting to portray themselves as speaking for the people. I think the recall has really awakened the public to the fact that they need to be more involved in local government," she added.
Maurer, a Viterbo University student, was backed by the Restore La Crosse Committee. He came in last place with just 26 votes.
"I'm very glad I ran. I think there is definitely a message to Kader that people are upset, even though she won tonight by a pretty big margin," said Maurer.
Gundersen, a remodeling contractor, also says the recall effort was justified.
"Audrey has really not done what the people have voted for in countless referendums. The people want her to realize that we have a high tax burden in La Crosse. I hope this brings that home to her," said Gundersen.
Final election results will be certified on Friday.