Justice David Prosser on Friday was projected as the winner of the state's hotly contested Supreme Court race, which has gained national attention.

The Associated Press reported that the conservative-backed Prosser led his liberal-backed challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg, by 7,316 votes after officials canvassed vote counts across Wisconsin's 72 counties. 


State election officials will certify the results until next Wednesday, the deadline by which Kloppenburg can file for a recount. 

Should the results hold, it would be a significant victory for GOP Gov. Scott Walker; the election was turned into a referendum over his controversial union law. 

The vote-counting process was a tumultuous affair, and some observers have said there could be a recount. Kloppenburg, a Wisconsin assistant attorney general, led Prosser after the initial vote count released last Wednesday. 

But the canvassing was thrown into chaos after over 14,000 previously uncounted votes were discovered in Waukesha County that swung the race in Prosser's favor. Kloppenburg's supporters have accused the county clerk, who previously worked for Prosser, of foul play.

State officials are investigating why the votes were not initially counted. 

Before the dust-up over the final count, liberals and conservatives nationwide had helped mobilize Wisconsin voters to get to the polls to ensure a victory for their respective sides. The activity drummed up high turnout in a race that was initally expected to be a quiet affair and an easy win for Prosser.

Walker's law, which could be challenged in the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, curbs collective bargaining rights for unionized public employees.