Hansen survives recall attempt with landslide victory over VanderLeest

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July 19, 2011

By Geoff Pallay and Greg Janetka

MADISON, Wisconsin: Senator Dave Hansen (D) fought off the first recall election in 2011 with a resounding victory over challenger David VanderLeest (R) today.[1] More than 30,000 voters visited the polls to voice their opinion on whether the incumbent senator should remain in office.

DaveHansen.jpg   David VanderLeest.JPG
Dave HansenGreen check mark transparent.png           David VanderLeest
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

Additionally, Kim Simac defeated Robert Lussow in the Republican primary for District 12 while Jonathan Steitz triumphed over Fred Ekornaas in the Republican Primary for District 22. Simac will now face Jim Holperin in a recall election on August 16 while Steitz will go up against Robert Wirch that day. [2]

District 12

July 19 Republican primary[3]
Candidates Votes Percent
Kim Simac Approveda 11,300 58.53%
Robert Lussow 7,765 40.22%
Scattering 242 1.25%

District 22

July 19 Republican primary[4]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jonathan Steitz Approveda 5,981 61.06%
Fred Ekornaas 3,369 34.39%
Scattering 446 4.55%

District 30

July 19 Recall[5]
Candidates Votes Percent
Dave Hansen (D) Approveda 22,051 65.93%
David VanderLeest (R) 11,054 33.05%
Scattering 340 1.02%

Hansen's victory means the Republican edge in the Senate remains at 19-14. If the Democratic challengers win in at least three recall races on August 9, then the Senate will flip in the Democrats' favor. Republicans would then need to win back at least one seat on August 16 to win back control.

Hansen was the front-runner in the race from the start. Hansen raised $190,000 and had $243,000 in the bank for the recall.[6] Meanwhile, VanderLeest reported raising a shade over $2,000.[7]

The two Republican primaries had significantly lower turnout than in the recall election tonight and the 6 Democratic primaries last week. Each Democratic primary and the Hansen race had a minimum of 21,000 votes cast. Unofficial results show less than 10,000 voters came out to the polls in the Steitz versus Ekornaas contest. Simac versus Lussow turned out slightly higher figures, with more than 15,000 total votes.

The stark difference is likely attributed to the protest candidates last week that attracted Republican voters to the Democratic primaries.

Simac and Steitz held substantial fundraising advantages over their opponents in the Republican primaries. Simac took in more than $90,000 while Robert Lussow reported $350 in donations.

Voters will now wait three weeks before the next recall-related event, with the 6 recall elections of Republican incumbents on August 9.

See also


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