MADISON (WSAU) The Wisconsin elections panel voted this morning to hold separate recall elections against Republican Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. The Government Accountability Board unanimously certified just over 900,000 petition signatures for the Walker recall effort, and about 809,000 signatures for the effort to unseat Kleefisch. Both numbers were well above the 540,000 needed to force the recall votes.
The Board also officially set the dates for the Walker and Kleefisch elections, and recall contests in four Republican Senate districts. Elections for all six posts will be on May 8th. And if primaries are needed, general elections will be held June 5th.
Walker becomes the third governor in the nation to face a recall, and the first in Wisconsin. Kleefisch is the first lieutenant governor to be a recall target. All six incumbents were targeted for their support of the new state law which virtually ended collective bargaining by most state-and-local public employee unions. Primaries are expected in both the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s races.
We won’t know about the Senate races until April 10th, when nomination papers must be filed. Senate Republicans Scott Fitzgerald, Terry Moulton, and Van Wanggaard each have one announced Democratic challenger at the moment. Wausau Republican Pam Galloway was also targeted for recall, but she resigned earlier this month – so that will turn into a regular Senate election on the recall voting dates. Assembly Republican Jerry Petrowski and Assembly Democrat Donna Seidel have announced candidates for that seat.