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Shelly Moore

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Shelly Moore
Shelly Moore.JPG
Former candidate for
Wisconsin State Senate District 10

Political party Democratic
Profession Teacher
Website Campaign website
Shelly Moore was a Democratic candidate for District 10 of the Wisconsin State Senate in the recall election against incumbent Sen. Sheila Harsdorf. She defeated Isaac Weix in the Democratic primary on July 12 and will face Harsdorf in the recall on August 9.

Moore is a teacher at Ellsworth Community High School and serves as National Education Association director for the Wisconsin Education Association Council.[1]

Moore said she ran in the recall because Gov. Scott Walker and Harsdorf "turned their backs" on Wisconsin families.[2]

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



Moore announces her campaign for senate
See also: Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011) and Sheila Harsdorf recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2011)

Moore announced on May 3 that she would run against Republican Sheila Harsdorf if a campaign to recall her was approved. About 23,000 signatures to recall Harsdorf were filed on April 19, 2011. Signatures were filed against nine different state senators in Wisconsin, while a total of 16 were originally targeted for recall.[3]

Moore held a conference call on May 11 criticizing Republicans for pushing their agenda through the legislature prior to the potential summer recall elections. She stated:[4]

It's the kind of thing where if the bills that were presented were truly in the best interest of the people, then there would be time for hearings, for conversations, for public input. But instead, we're racing through a bunch of bills with no input whatsoever or minimal input from any members of the public, which makes you question the nature of the piece of legislation and the nature of the radical politics that are really being rushed through.

Nathan Duerkop, spokesman for the Friends of Sheila Harsdorf campaign, called Moore's conference call "false and misleading partisan spin."


On May 23, Moore challenged Harsdorf to at least three debates. In a press release Moore explained, "By standing side-by-side and sharing our visions for the future, the people will see who will fight for education, seniors and the middle class, and who is eager to continue giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to big corporations."

Harsdorf spokesman Nathan Duerkop said Harsdorf is "more than happy to talk to voters about Moore's tax-and-spend plans," adding, "Residents of the 10th Senate District will be alarmed at how Moore is in league with Madison unions and how much it will cost taxpayers if elected, to say nothing about the debt she would pass onto our kids. Sheila is hard at work fixing budget messes, but we look forward to a full set of debates."[5]

Moore and Harsdorf faced off in a debate sponsored by Husdon Patch on July 25. It was closed to the public, with only invited guests and the media able to see it live.

Both candidates expressed an eagerness to discuss the issues. Moore stated, "I look forward to a substantive debate about the issues facing the 10th state Senate district this summer," while Harsdorf said, "I look forward to talking about what this unprecedented recall effort is all about and who's driving it."[6]

A press release from Moore’s campaign detailed three other debates - a second put on by the American Association of University Women on July 27, a third sponsored by the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau on July 28,[7] with the last being the Wisconsin Public Radio Candidate Forum on August 4.[8]

While the press release from Moore outlined four debates, Harsdorf’s campaign said they only accepted three, as Moore originally proposed back in May. The one in question was the American Association of University Women debate. Harsdorf’s campaign said they signed the recall petition and may have donated to Moore’s campaign, and because of that, they are not interested in participating.[9]

Harsdorf and Moore faced off for the first time in the July 25 debate. Harsdorf opened the debate, saying, “I'm not being recalled because I did anything wrong. I'm being recalled because I stood up to special interests.” Moore said recall was “the right of the people,” and that it was happening because the voice of the people was not being heard.[10] Many issues were addressed by both candidates, including balancing the state budget, government priorities, collective bargaining, and campaign finance.[11]


Isaac Weix, who ran as a Republican for state Assembly in 2010, entered the race in the 10th District as a protest Democrat. A Harsdorf spokesman said she did not support the protest candidacy and had nothing to do with it. Another Democrat in the race necessitated a primary, which took place on July 12, pushing the actual recall election back to August 9.

Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, issued a statement on June 6 indicating that the party advocated fake candidates run because Republicans were at a disadvantage. "Because of this disadvantage, and the outrageous nature of elected officials facing recall for standing up for a balanced budget, the Republican Party of Wisconsin has advocated that protest candidates run in Democratic primaries to ensure that Republican legislators have ample time to communicate with voters throughout their districts after the state budget is approved," he said.[12]

Democratic Senate Leader Mark Miller called the move "Nixonion tactics," saying, "we don't need to waste taxpayer money on phony elections to help these Republicans duck the voters and needlessly delay these elections."[13]

July 12 Democratic Primary

Moore defeated Weix in the primary. It was the closest of the six.

July 12 Democratic primary[14]
Candidates Votes Percent
Shelly Moore Approveda 19,300 53.98%
Isaac Weix 16,029 44.83%
Scattering 427 1.19%

Republicans jumped on the primary, with the state party issuing a press release on July 14 targeting Moore, while Sheila Harsdorf’s campaign issued two against her opponent.

In its release, the Wisconsin GOP referred to Moore’s win in the primary as “an embarrassing performance,” and goes on to discuss a ‘’PolitiFact story that gave Moore a “Pants on Fire” rating for a direct-mail piece that said, “Senator Harsdorf and Her Party Want to Eliminate Medicare As We Know It, Forcing Seniors to Pay Thousands More a Year for the Same Coverage."[15]

The woman featured in the mailing said she is a supporter of Moore, but did not consent for her name to be used and did not know Medicare would be the issue. However, she said she would still be supporting Moore.

The first press release from Harsdorf also attacks Moore for the flyer, with spokesman Nathan Duerkop saying, “Moore should publicly apologize to all seniors today and cease her lie-filled direct mail campaign.”[16] The second states that Moore went to an NEA Convention instead of being in a local parade.[17]

August 9 recall

August 9 Recall - District 10[18]
Candidates Votes Percent
Sheila Harsdorf (R) Green check mark transparent.png 37,102 57.6%
Shelly Moore (D) 27,257 42.32%
Scattering 52 .08%

Republicans question Moore’s emails

Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on June 21, alleging Moore intentionally used her public school email account to coordinate work related to her recall campaign against Sheila Harsdorf. Republicans released the emails in question, which they obtained through an open records request from the Ellsworth School District.

One of the emails, dated March 10, 2011, states, "We are not supposed to use school email, but since all of our rights are being taken away, I don't frankly care."

Thompson stated, “this abuse of taxpayer funded resources deserves a full investigation by the Government Accountability Board. If she feels she is above the laws of this state, she certainly has no business having a hand in creating them.”[19]

Democratic Party press secretary Gillian Morris called the complaint a “blatantly political stunt,” saying, "Shelly was absolutely not using taxpayer dollars for campaign purposes -- no campaign even existed when these emails were sent.”[20]

Isaac Weix issued a statement calling on Moore to leave the race, stating, "For the sake of the integrity of the legal democratic process, and the reputation of the Democratic Party it is time for Ms. Moore to withdraw her candidacy."[21]

Ads relating to the campaign


Conducted June 23-26

August 9, 2011 Recall - District 10 - Daily Kos/PPP Poll[22]
Candidate Party Percent
Sheila Harsdorf Ends.png Republican 50%
Shelly Moore Electiondot.png Democratic 45%
Undecided 5%

Conducted August 5-7

August 9, 2011 Recall - District 10 - Daily Kos/PPP Poll[23]
Candidate Party Percent
Sheila Harsdorf Ends.png Republican 54%
Shelly Moore Electiondot.png Democratic 42%
Undecided 4%

Campaign contributions

Shelly Moore Campaign Finance Reports (GAB ID No. 0105102)
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures) Cash on Hand
Special Pre-Election[24] August 1, 2011 $93,506.90 $95,032.11 $(76,928.65) $111,610.36
July Continuing[25] July 5, 2011 $0.00 $236,728.33 $(145,141.22) $91,587.11
Official reports

External links


  1. Twin Cities, "Dems name candidate to challenge Harsdorf in Wisconsin's 10th District," May 3, 2011
  2. WTAQ, "Teachers union leader says she'll run Sen. Harsdorf," May 4, 2011
  3. Chicago Tribune, "Petition filed to recall 4th GOP Wisconsin senator," April 19, 2011
  4. Patch, "Shelly Moore Criticizes Wisconsin Republicans for Pushing Through Agenda Before Recall Elections," May 11, 2011
  5. Hudson Patch, "Shelly Moore Challenges Sheila Harsdorf to Debates," May 24, 2011
  6. Hudson Patch, "Hudson Patch to Host First Debate Between Shelly Moore and Sheila Harsdorf," July 15, 2011
  7. River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, "Legislative Moderated Forum," accessed July 15, 2011
  8. ‘’WisPolitics, “Moore Campaign: Shelly Moore accepts four debates,” July 15, 2011
  9. ‘’WEAU, “Harsdorf, Moore to debate several times,” July 15, 2011
  10. Hudson Patch, “Wisconsin Senate Recalls: Shelly Moore and Sheila Harsdorf Square Off in Hudson Patch Debate,” July 25, 2011
  11. WEAU, “10th District candidates face off in first debate,” July 25, 2011
  12. Daily Journal, "Wisconsin Republican Party encourages spoiler candidates to run in recalls to force primaries," June 6, 2011
  13. Twin Cities, "Wisconsin Republicans accused of dirty tricks in recall elections," June 6, 2011
  14. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "July 12 Primary Election Results District 10," accessed August 11, 2011
  15. ‘’WisPolitics, “WisGOP: Shelly Moore busted for “misleading” and “ridiculous” flyer,” July 14, 2011
  16. ‘’WisPolitics, “Harsdorf Campaign: Shelly Moore identified as Liar, Liar “Pants on Fire” in Politifact,” July 14, 2011
  17. ‘’WisPolitics, “Harsdorf Campaign:Hudson boosters call out More for parade lies and rule violations,” July 14, 2011
  18. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 10 Recall Election Results," accessed August 19, 2011
  19. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans call for probe into recall candidate’s emails," June 22, 2011
  20. Hudson Patch, “Wisconsin GOP Files Complaint Alleging Shelly Moore Used State Resources to Coordinate Recall, Campaign,” June 22, 2011
  21. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Protest' Democrat asks opponent to step down," June 24, 2011
  22. Daily Kos, "WI Recall: New Daily Kos polling shows path to victory," June 28, 2011
  23. Daily Kos, "Wisconsin recall elections: Too close to call," August 8, 2011
  24. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Moore for Senate," August 1, 2011
  25. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Moore for Senate," July 5, 2011