Two GOP Senators Defeated in Wisconsin Recall Effort

Democratic challengers won two of six GOP State Senate recall elections in Wisconsin. The six recall efforts were in response to GOP Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature’s budget bill that stripped collective bargaining rights of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin public workers.

Wisconsin working families reacted to Walker’s strong-arm tactics with months of protests and then a grassroots effort to collect enough signatures to recall GOP members of the state Senate. The recall effort resulted in enough petition signatures to recall six GOP Senators.

Republicans responded with a counter-recall effort that triggered recall elections for two Democratic Senators who were part of the 14-senator Democratic caucus who left the state to keep Republicans from passing the budget bill. The GOP used a technical loophole to rush passage of the bill. The Democratic recall elections take place on August 16.

The GOP round of elections took place on August 9. Democrat Jessica King defeated Republican Randy Hooper in Senate District 18 and Jennifer Shilling Defeated Senator Dan Kapanke in Senate District 32.

The Wisconsin state AFL-CIO reports that 12,000 volunteers mobilized to contact more than one million voters and knocked on 125,000 doors the weekend before the election. The six districts were some of the most heavily Republican in the state, one district hadn’t elected a Democrat since the 1800s. Democrats needed a net gain of three seats to win majority control of the state legislature.