Recall Elections to Determine Wis. Senate Control
Wisconsin Democrats, fueled by millions of dollars in spending by national unions and other outside groups, are hoping to wrest control of the state Senate away from Republicans through six recall elections Tuesday that stemmed from anger over Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining proposal.
¶ The races targeting incumbent Republicans morphed into a high-stakes political fight with national implications as tens of millions of dollars poured into the state, breaking spending records in the unprecedented recalls.
¶ Until this year, there were only 20 attempts nationally since 1913 to recall lawmakers from office, just 13 of them successful.
¶ Besides the six Republicans on Tuesday’s ballot, two Democratic incumbents face recalls next week. A third Democrat survived a recall attempt last month.
¶ Republicans hold a 19-14 advantage in the Senate, so Democrats need to win five of the eight elections to take control.
¶ If Republicans lose three or four seats on Tuesday, the balance of power in the Senate will rest on the outcome of the two Democratic races next week. Those races target Sens. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie and Jim Holperin of Conover.