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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, left, with lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes, claims victory over Republican Gov. Scott Walker at a post-election party early Wednesday at the Orpheum Theater in Madison.

Congratulations to Gov.-elect Tony Evers, who has broken eight years of one-party rule at the statehouse, bringing some much-needed balance back to state decisions.

That will include an important check on Republican attempts to gerrymander voting districts again, following the 2020 census. Evers should press the Legislature for a nonpartisan system for redrawing legislative and congressional maps, based on population changes and not political advantage. Iowa’s nonpartisan and inexpensive model should be the goal.

Evers, the Democratic challenger to two-term incumbent GOP Gov. Scott Walker, narrowly won the governor’s job Tuesday after running a dignified and respectful campaign, promising to unify the state and invest more in education while fixing crumbling roads — even if that means a modest increase in fees on drivers.

Those are strong and responsible priorities that we urge him to follow through on in the coming months and years.

Like much of the nation, Wisconsin has grown tired of the endless bickering between the two parties. As Tuesday’s incredibly close election showed, Wisconsin isn’t a “blue” Democratic stronghold or a “red” Republican bastion. We’re a healthy mix of purple.

Evers, elected three times as state superintendent of schools and now as governor, should acknowledge and remember Wisconsin’s independent streak. He should strive to be the governor of all of Wisconsin, rather than catering to his Democratic base in Dane and Milwaukee counties.

Evers pledged to be a pragmatist who solves problems, not a partisan who picks fight. We like that. And we plan to hold him to that commitment. Voters should, too.

Wisconsin definitely needs more cooperation in the wake of Gov. Walker’s divisive battles over unions and other controversial issues. Evers shouldn’t try to re-fight old disputes. Instead, he should press for smart policies to keep and attract more workers to fill the jobs of the future. Wisconsin is aging fast and facing a growing workforce shortage.

Evers should encourage science in our schools and at the state Department of Natural Resources, while steering Wisconsin on a straighter and smarter path to clean energy to address climate change.

Wisconsin has many challenges and opportunities. Our next governor should embrace the possibilities while building consensus around shared goals.

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