A controversial Wisconsin state senator will be the Republican nominee to replace retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), after the establishment's preferred candidate announced Friday that he won't push for a recount in their close primary.


Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn GrothmanGlenn S. GrothmanGOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill GOP lawmaker: Trump 'not quite popular enough' to advance an immigration bill MORE (R), who stirred controversy on social issues in the past, led fellow state Sen. Joe Leibham (R) by 215 votes in the final count, and Leibham has decided not to contest the results.

"After a review of the official election results and prayerful consideration with my family, I have decided not to seek a recount in [Wisconsin's] 6th Congressional District election," Leibham said in a statement Friday. "I have contacted Senator Glenn Grothman, informed him of my decision, and wished him well."

Grothman's win gives Democrats the chance to contest in the Republican-leaning district.

The outspoken senator has said it was "unbelievable" that Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Uganda's harsh anti-gay laws, and has repeatedly called homosexuality a "sin," saying it "should not flourish" in American society. He attacked what he called the "war on men" during a 2010 Tea Party rally, has said that "money is more important for men" as part of explaining why he opposed equal pay legislation, and has sponsored legislation that said single parenting is a contributing factor to child abuse.

One national Republican strategist warned The Hill on the Aug. 12 election night that Grothman was a "ticking time bomb" who puts the seat at risk.

Democrats nominated Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris for the race in the suburban and exurban district outside of Milwaukee.