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Report: Prosser owes $200,000 in campaign debt

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser still owes about $200,000 from his extremely-close re-election battle three years ago. Prosser defeated JoAnne Kloppenburg by just 7,000 votes after the first statewide recount in over 20 years. It was a relatively sleepy campaign until Prosser's opponents turned it into a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker's law that took collective bargaining away from most public employee unions in Wisconsin.

Prosser's campaign spent $700,000, and public financing and outside special-interest money also poured into the race.

Prosser is a former G-O-P state Assembly speaker, and former Governor Tommy Thompson -- who appointed Prosser to the bench -- recently sent out an appeal to donors to repay what he called a "debt of gratitude" to the justice.

According to the A-P, most of Prosser's debt is to a Milwaukee law firm which provided legal services for the election and the recount. His campaign director at the time, Brian Nemoir, says retiring debt has been challenged by a "near-constant election cycle" since 2011 -- which included recall efforts against Walker and several senators.