Yesterday, two Democratic Senators Bob Wirch and Jim Holperin defeated their Republican opponents in the final two Wisconsin recall elections. The recall bids grew out of this spring’s bitter fight over Republican Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union law stripping teachers, nurses and social workers of their collective bargaining rights. Both Democratic senators were among the 14 who fled the state in February in a strategy to make Governor Scott Walker (R) negotiate with them regarding the law.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate stated, “It’s really hard to go five for nine and not be pleased [with] the progress we’ve made.”
In the August 9 recall elections, Democratic Senators Jennifer Shilling and Jessica King won two of the contested seats in strongly Republican districts, and in July, Democrat Dave Hansen won in the first of nine recall elections in Wisconsin this week. Nevertheless, the Democrats, who won five of the total nine recall elections, failed to capture the seats necessary to become the majority in the state Senate. The Republicans now have a 17-16 majority in the state Senate and are also the majority in the Wisconsin House of Representatives.