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GAB certifies recalls for Hopper, Kapanke and Olsen

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May 23, 2011

By Greg Janetka and Geoff Pallay

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results

MADISON, Wisconsin: Today the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board certified signatures for the Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke and Luther Olsen campaigns, paving the way for recall elections to occur on July 12.

The three campaigns were validated and certified with little controversy during the hearings today.

Recall Campaigns Certified on May 23 by the GAB
District State senator Recall signatures required Recall signatures submitted Recall signatures validated Opponent Recall Date
Luther Olsen 14,733 24,000 22,207[1] Assemblyman Fred Clark July 12
Randy Hopper 15,269 23,946 22,953[1] Jessica King July 12
Dan Kapanke 15,588 22,975 21,776[1] Assebmlywoman Jennifer Shilling July 12

The legal counsel for the Republican incumbents challenged the validity of the signatures, basing their main argument on improperly filed paperwork. In order to initiate a recall campaign, a statement of intent as well as a document registering the recall effort are required. Republicans argued that these two documents must have the same petitioner listed on both, which they did not have.

The Board rejected this argument, citing the fact that the two documents have to be attached when they are filed.[2] A memo from GAB staff pointed out that the Republican campaign against Jim Holperin also had the same issue of two different names.[3] Republican attorneys additionally challenged individual signatures in each of the petitions, but not enough to invalidate any of them.

The GAB concurred with its staff recommendations to validate the campaigns, which sets in motion the process for a recall election to take place on July 12.[4]

However, if any additional Democratic candidates declared an intent to run, that would trigger a primary on July 12, which would then push the recall itself to August 9. Thus far, there are multiple Republican candidates seeking the opportunity to run against each Democratic incumbent. Each of the six Republican recalls currently features only one Democratic challenger.

State law stipulates that once the signatures are certified, a recall election be held on the Tuesday of the 6th week after the clerk issued the certificate.

VanderLeest declares candidacy

On May 22, David VanderLeest, the organizer behind the "Recall Dave Hansen" campaign, declared his candidacy to run against Hansen if a recall is certified.[5] State Assemblyman John Nygren declared his candidacy the week prior, while Brown County Board Vice Chairwoman Mary Scray has also said she plans to run for the seat.

The presence of multiple candidates would trigger a primary election, four weeks prior to the recall itself.

See also