State Legislative Tracker:Third and final round of Wisconsin recalls begin tomorrow

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August 15, 2011

By Jackie Arthur

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This week's tracker features a spotlight on tomorrow's Democratic recall elections in Wisconsin, as well as an update on last week's Republican recall elections in Wisconsin.


So far this year, 43 out of 50 state legislatures have officially adjourned their regular session. This week, no states are scheduled to adjourn their 2011 regular session.

Current sessions capture for the week of August 15, 2011

Regular sessions

The following 7 states remain in regular legislative sessions:

* California and Wisconsin are both convened in ongoing special sessions, but are still in regular session. California began its summer recess on July 15 and adjourns today. Wisconsin will be in recess until September 13.
** New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania are in recess.
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2011 session information.

Special sessions

Special sessions have been and are expected to be a widespread occurrence in the state legislatures in 2011, in particular due to the necessity of states to conduct the redistricting of state legislative and congressional districts. This week Wisconsin continues an ongoing special session. California's special legislative session is in recess until today.

Special sessions beginning this week:

In recess

As of August 15, 24 states' sessions are currently in recess:

  • Alaska - Mid-term recess April 18 through January 16, 2012[1]
  • Delaware - July 1, 2011 through January 10, 2012[1]
  • Georgia - Mid-term recess April 15 through January 8, 2012[1]
  • Hawaii - Mid-term recess May 6 through January 7, 2012[1]
  • Illinois - June 23 through October 24, 2011 (est.)[1]

  • Iowa - Mid-term recess June 30 through January 8, 2012[1]
  • Kansas - Mid-term recess June 1 through January 8, 2012[1]
  • Maine - Mid-term recess June 30 through January 3, 2012 (est.)[1]
  • Minnesota - Mid-term recess May 24 through January 23, 2012[1]
  • Nebraska - Mid-term recess May 27 through January 3, 2012[1]
  • New Hampshire - Summer recess June 30 through September 6, 2011[1]

Sessions spotlight


This week, our spotlight focuses again on Wisconsin, where the third and final set of state legislative recalls takes place tomorrow.

Wisconsin: The final installment of the Wisconsin state senate recall elections is set to occur tomorrow in State Senate Districts 12 and 22. District 12 is located in the far northeastern portion of the state, and District 22 is located in southeastern Kenosha county.

Tomorrow, Democrats Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch will fight to keep their seats. Holperin faces challenger Kim Simac, a tea party organizer. Wirch faces Jonathan Steitz, a corporate attorney and political newcomer.

Ballotpedia will detail results as they come in after polls close at 8pm CST. Check our results page here.

District 12

August 16 Recall - District 12[2]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jim Holperin (D) Green check mark transparent.png 30,450 55.12%
Kim Simac (R) 24,682 44.67%
Scattering 110 0.19%

District 22

August 16 Recall - District 22[3]
Candidates Votes Percent
Robert Wirch (D) Green check mark transparent.png 25,524 57.35%
Jonathan Steitz (R) 19,662 42.51%
Brian Harwood (Write-in) 23 .05%
Scattering 42 .09%

Currently, Senate Republicans hold a razor thin majority of 17-16.

Party As of October 2014
     Democratic Party 15
     Republican Party 17
     Vacancy 1
Total 33
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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

Last week's recalls featured six Republican senators, four of whom won their elections:

August 9 Recall - District 2[4]
Candidates Votes Percent
Robert Cowles (R) Green check mark transparent.png 27,037 57.44%
Nancy Nusbaum (D) 19,974 42.43%
Scattering 62 .13%
August 9 Recall - District 8[5]
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Alberta Darling (R) 39,449 53.62%
Sandy Pasch (D) 34,071 46.31%
Scattering 56 .08%
August 9 Recall - District 10[6]
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%
August 9 Recall - District 14[7]
Candidates Votes Percent
Luther Olsen (R) Green check mark transparent.png 26,553 52.1%
Fred Clark (D) 24,355 47.79%
Scattering 56 .11%

The two senators who lost were:

August 9 Recall - District 18[8]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jessica King (D) Green check mark transparent.png 28,191 51.1%
Randy Hopper (R) 26,937 48.83%
Scattering 42 .08%
August 9 Recall - District 32[9]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jennifer Shilling (D) Green check mark transparent.png 33,193 55.38%
Dan Kapanke (R) 26,724 44.58%
Scattering 25 .04%


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A total of 578 seats will be up for general election in state legislatures in 2011.

In this year's 2011 election cycle, two state legislative primaries remain in Louisiana and Virginia. New Jersey held statewide primaries on June 7, 2011, and Mississippi held statewide primaries on August 2.

Upcoming elections

See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2011 and Virginia State Senate elections, 2011

Next week, Virginia will hold its state legislative primary on August 23. Additionally, Mississippi will hold primary runoffs for several state house and senate seats. Virginia's signature filing deadline was June 15. Virginia's primary was rescheduled to August 23, 2011 instead of its usual date of June 14, 2011[10] after delays and uncertainty in the redistricting process.[11].[12]

The next state with a signature filing deadline is Louisiana on September 8.

Special elections

This week, three elections take place - two Democratic recalls in Wisconsin, and a special election for Maine House District 121.


Maine House District 121

Senator Cynthia Dill (D) was elected to the Maine State Senate in a 2011 special election.[13] A special election was called to replace her on August 16, 2011.[14]

Democratic Party Democratic Candidate:
Republican Party Republican Candidate:

Last week, eight special elections took place - one in New Hampshire and seven in Wisconsin - six recalls and one special election in District 48.

New Hampshire results

New Hampshire State House, Strafford 3

Representative Martin Harty (R) resigned after telling a constituent that the disabled should be shipped to Siberia. The constituent responded that this sounded like a position Hitler might take. Harty, 91, acknowledged that he agreed with Hitler on the issue. After the ensuing controversy, Harty said he only made the comments in jest.[15] A special election primary was set for June 7, and a special general election was held August 9.[16][17]

Democratic Party Democratic Primary Candidates:
Republican Party Republican Primary Candidates:
Independent Independent Candidates:

Wisconsin Assembly District 48 results

Assemblyman Joseph Parisi (D) resigned after winning election as Dane County executive.[19] A special election was ordered for August 9, and a special election primary was held on July 12.[20] Although no Republicans were nominated, the August 9 special election was still held. Of the 6,050 votes, 591 were write-in votes against Taylor.

Democratic Party Democratic Primary Candidates:
  • Chris Taylor Green check mark transparent.png[21]
  • Vicky Selkowe
  • Bethany Ordaz
  • Fred Arnold
  • Andy Heidt
  • Dave DeFelice
Republican Party Republican Primary Candidates:
  • No Republican candidates filed.

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

External links


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 StateScape, Session schedules, accessed Aug. 8, 2011
  2. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 12 recall election results," accessed August 26, 2011
  3. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 22 recall election results," accessed August 26, 2011
  4. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 2 Recall Election Results," accessed August 19, 2011
  5. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 8 Recall Election Results," accessed August 19, 2011
  6. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 10 Recall Election Results," accessed August 19, 2011
  7. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 14 Recall Election Results," August 19, 2011
  8. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 18 Recall Election Results," accessed August 19, 2011
  9. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 32 Recall Election Results," accessed August 19, 2011
  10. Ballot Access News, "Virginia House Passes Bill Moving 2011 Primary from June to August," January 20, 2011 (dead link)
  11. Virginia General Assembly, "History of House Bill 1507 (2011)"
  12. Virginia Public Access Project, "Update:Primaries to be held August 23," January 30, 2011
  13., Dill Wins District 7 Election, May 11, 2011
  14. ME Bureau of Corporations, Elections & Commissions, "Upcoming Elections," accessed August 9, 2011
  15. WMUR, "Lawmaker Resigns Over Comment About Shipping Disabled To Siberia," March 14, 2011
  16. Foster's Daily Democrat, "Candidates line up for District 3 seat," May 5, 2011
  17. NH Secretary of State, Strafford County District No. 3 Special Election, accessed August 10, 2011 (dead link)
  18. Union Leader, "Democrat wins special House election," August 9, 2011
  19. The Daily Cardinal, "County Exec Parisi Sworn in," April 20, 2011, 2011
  20. Wisconsin GAB, Assembly District 48 Special Election
  21. Wisconsin State Journal, "Taylor wins uncontested race for 48th Assembly District," August 9, 2011