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Election results: Republicans hold onto five seats in recalls, Dems claim control of Senate

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June 6, 2012

By: Greg Janetka

  Republican incumbents surviving recall 

MADISON, Wisconsin: Turnout exceeded 2010 general election totals on Tuesday as Republicans retained five seats in the six recall elections, but appear to have lost control of the Senate. Despite all of the build up and national attention, as results trickled in the night looked to be fairly uneventful until early in the morning when Democratic challenger John Lehman declared victory over incumbent Van Wanggaard (R) in Senate District 21.

Governor

See also: Scott Walker recall, Wisconsin (2012)

While early exit polls showed a close race, Governor Scott Walker (R) was declared the winner with only 29 percent of the vote in. With his victory Walker became the first governor to survive a recall - North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier was removed from office in 1921 and California Governor Gray Davis (D) in 2003.[1]

In conceding, Tom Barrett said it is up to both sides of the aisle to come together and listen to each other. Walker struck a similar note, saying lawmakers should meet over burgers and brats next week to discussing healing the sharply partisan divide.[2]

Recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Walker Incumbent 53.1% 1,335,585
     Democratic Tom Barrett 46.3% 1,164,480
     Independent Hari Trivedi 0.6% 14,463
     Scattering - 0.1% 1,537
Total Votes 2,516,065
Election Results Via: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board


Lt. Governor

See also: Rebecca Kleefisch recall, Wisconsin (2012)

While the race fell into the background most of the time, Rebecca Kleefisch became the first lieutenant governor in United States history to face, and subsequently survive, a recall election.[3]

In celebrating her victory Kleefisch told supporters, “Now this is what democracy looks like. Friends, years from now they will say the campaign to save America began tonight in Wisconsin.[4]


Recall of Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRebecca Kleefisch Incumbent 52.9% 1,301,739
     Democratic Mahlon Mitchell 47% 1,156,520
     Scattering - 0.1% 3,077
Total Votes 2,461,336
Election Results Via: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board


Senate

While Democrats claim the majority in the Senate by a 17-16 margin that could change in November when elections are held for 16 of the 33 seats. The Legislature is currently in recess and, barring a special session, will not be conducting business until after the general election.[5]

District 13

See also: Scott Fitzgerald recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)

Incumbent Scott Fitzgerald (R) easily defeated recall organizer Lori Compas (D) and Terry Virgil (L) to retain his seat.[6]

Recall of Wisconsin State Senator Scott Fitzgerald, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Fitzgerald Incumbent 58.3% 47,146
     Democratic Lori Compas 40.7% 32,909
     Libertarian Terry Virgil 0.9% 763
     - Scattering 0% 33
Total Votes 80,851
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board


District 21

See also: Van Wanggaard recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)

While races in all of the other districts were called fairly early, the fight for District 21 continued into the early morning, results narrowing as them came in. In the end former Sen. John Lehman (D) declared victory over incumbent Van Wanggaard (R). With 100 percent of precincts reporting unofficial results show Lehman leading by 779 votes.

Challenges to the results are possible and the Wanggaard campaign released a statement saying, “We owe it to all of Senator Wanggaard’s supporters and the voters of Wisconsin to thoroughly examine the election and its results and act accordingly once we have all of the information.”[7]

The two previously faced off in 2010 where Wanggaard defeated then incumbent Lehman.

Recall of Wisconsin State Senator Van Wanggaard, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Van Wanggaard Incumbent 49.4% 35,517
     Democratic John Lehman 50.5% 36,351
     - Scattering 0.1% 56
Total Votes 71,924
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board


District 23

See also: Terry Moulton recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)

Incumbent Terry Moulton (R) easily defeated former state legislator Kristen Dexter (D) to retain his seat. The election was a rematch of 2008 where Dexter defeated Moulton to win his seat in the Assembly. With 98 percent reporting Dexter hadn’t yet conceded but Moulton said, "I’m humbled that the voters are going to allow me to stay in office and complete my term." Moulton went on to say he thought a lot of the animosity between the two parties was due to a lack of personal connection and that he would try to get to know Democrats better as people.[8]

Recall of Wisconsin State Senator Terry Moulton, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTerry Moulton Incumbent 56.6% 39,864
     Democratic Kristen Dexter 43.3% 30,504
     - Scattering 0.1% 100
Total Votes 70,468
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board


District 29

See also: Pam Galloway recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2012)

State Rep. Jerry Petrowski (R) easily defeated fellow Rep. Donna Seidel (D) to win the seat vacated by former Sen. Pam Galloway. Seidel said she was proud of the campaign she ran and “while we did not get the result we wanted, I hope those who have been elected this evening will live up to their claims to bring Wisconsin together."[9]

Petrowski will not take office until the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board certifies the election results, which must be done within 18 days of the election.[10]

Recall of Wisconsin State Senator Pam Galloway, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJerry Petrowski 61.3% 44,107
     Democratic Donna Seidel 38.6% 27,744
     - Scattering 0.1% 58
Total Votes 71,909
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board


See also

References

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