Timeline of events of the recall of Wisconsin State Senators in 2012

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2011 calendar
2012 calendar

This page presents a timeline of events related to the attempts to recall Wisconsin State Senators in 2012.

November 2011

  • 3: Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issues an opinion stating that the governor and lt. governor would have to be recalled separately.[1]
  • 15: Democrats file recall petitions against Republican Sens. Van Wanggaard, Scott Fitzgerald, Terry Moulton and Pam Galloway.[2]
  • 18: A group of citizens asked a federal court to make sure that the recall elections took place in the old districts where the legislators were elected from, rather than the newly drawn districts.[3]
  • 21: A group of Republicans asked the state Supreme Court to require any recall elections take place in the new districts, drawn by the GOP majority.[4]
  • 29: Republicans file a second lawsuit in Waukesha County on requesting a panel of three circuit court judges hear the case. The new GOP suit was filed to make sure proper procedures are followed in the case.[5]

December 2011

  • 2: Republicans ask to withdraw their first lawsuit, a move Democrats immediately try to block, saying the court should keep the case and dismiss it at a later date. The request came after it was known that Justice David Prosser, sidelined with an illness, would not take part in the case.[6] Republicans also amend their complaint, requesting a single Waukesha County judge hear the case, rather than the three-judge panel.[7]
  • 15: Democrats announce they have collected over 10,000 signatures on recall petitions for Pam Galloway.[8]
  • 18: The campaign to recall Van Wanggaard announce they have collected more than the required number of signatures to force a recall.[10]



  • 9: Deadline for all four senators to file challenges against the recall petitions.[22] All four file challenges.[23]
  • 27: Lori Compas, the organizer of the recall campaign against Scott Fitzgerald says she will run against him if a recall is scheduled.[24]


  • 9: GAB staff recommend that the board certify recall elections against all four senators. They also request an extra two weeks to finish reviewing signatures.[25]
  • 12: GAB votes unanimously to order recalls against all four Republican state senators.[26]
  • 13: The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board receives an extension on their deadline to complete its review of signatures, moving the date from the 19th to the 30th.[27]
  • 14: Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess signs an agreement scheduling primaries for May 8 with general elections on June 5. If there is no primary the general election takes place on May 8.[28]
  • 16: Pam Galloway submits her resignation from the Senate effective March 17, GAB says the recall will continue.[29]
  • 19: Members of the conservative group Citizens for Responsible Government file paperwork with GAB to start collecting signatures against Sen. Bob Jauch (D) and to form a committee to explore recalling Sen. Dale Schultz (R).[30]
  • 21: State Rep. Jerry Petrowski (R) announces he will run for Galloway's open senate seat in the recall.[31]
  • 30: GOP officials say they plan to run candidates in the Democratic primaries in all four recall elections.[32]


  • 10: Deadline for candidates to turn in nominating petitions.[33]
  • 17: The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board holds a special meeting to consider challenges to the candidates and certify ballot access,[34] unanimously agreed to allow the fake Democrats to remain on the ballot.[35]
  • 23: Absentee voting for the May 8 primaries begins.[36]


  • 8: Primaries are held for all recalls. There are no surprises as the real Democratic candidates defeat the protest candidates easily in all of the races.[37]
  • 11: A Citizens for Responsible Government Network affiliate announces the recall effort targeting Sen. Bob Jauch has been suspended."[38]
  • 21: Absentee voting begins for the June 5 recalls.[39]


  • 5: The general election for all recalls takes place.
Incumbents Scott Fitzgerald and Terry Moulton win easy victories. Republican Jerry Petrowski easily wins Pam Galloway's former seat. Unofficial results show John Lehman (D) defeats Van Wanggaard (R) by 779 votes and declares victory. Wanggaard considers a recount.[40]
  • 15: According to the official canvass, Lehman defeated Wanggaard by 834 votes. Wanggaard calls for a recount.[41]


  • 2: Recount completed. Results show Lehman won by 819 votes - 36,358 to 35,539.[42] Wanggaard considers possible legal challenges.[43]
  • 10: Wanggaard announced he would not file a lawsuit, allowing the results to stand.[44]
  • 17: Democrats officially take control of the Senate.[45]

See also


  1. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Attorney General Opinion on Recall of Governor and Lieutenant Governor," November 4, 2011
  2. FOX 6 Now, "Recall paperwork filed Tuesday for four senators, including Van Wanggaard," November 15, 2011
  3. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Group asks court to ensure recall elections are held in old Senate districts," November 21, 2011
  4. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans sue to place recalls in new districts," November 21, 2011
  5. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans file second suit seeking new districts for recalls," November 30, 2011
  6. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans withdraw redistricting lawsuit with state Supreme Court," December 2, 2011
  7. Courthouse News Service, "Dueling Claims over Wisconsin Redistricting," December 5, 2011
  8. Wausau Daily Herald, "Democrats say they have more than 10,000 signatures supporting recall of state Sen. Pam Galloway," December 15, 2011
  9. Daily Citizen, "Scott Fitzgerald recall moving forward," December 15, 2011
  10. Dane 101, "Total Recall: Enough signatures for Wanggaard recall, other Senate recalls close or on track," December 19, 2011
  11. Channel 3000, "12,000 Signatures Gathered In Fitzgerald Recall," January 2, 2012
  12. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fitzgerald recall nears needed number of signatures," January 12, 2012
  13. Channel 3000, "Target Met To Recall Senate Leader Fitzgerald," January 17, 2012
  14. WQOW, "Moulton recall organizers turning in signatures," January 17, 2012
  15. Wausau Daily Herald, "Updated: Galloway recall organizers collect 21,000 signatures," January 17, 2012
  16. Madison.com, "Wanggaard recall organizers submit more than 24,000 signatures," January 17, 2012
  17. Green Bay Press Gazette, "Judge extends recall verification period," January 25, 2012
  18. ABC 7, "Judge gives Wis. gov more time to challenge recall," January 25, 2012
  19. Leader-Telegram, "Dexter to challenge state Sen. Moulton in recall," January 30, 2012
  20. Journal Times, "Lehman to run against Wanggaard in likely recall," January 31, 2012
  21. Wausau Daily Herald, "Seidel announces Senate bid, will challenge Galloway," January 31, 2012
  22. Janesville Gazette, "Recall challenge deadline looms for Wis. senators," February 6, 2012 (dead link)
  23. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Four GOP senators file challenges to potential recalls," February 9, 2012
  24. Madison.com, "Woman photographer to challenge Wis. Senate leader," February 27, 2012 (dead link)
  25. WisPolitics, "GAB staff recommends certification of recalls against four GOP senators," March 9, 2012
  26. The Journal Times, "Wis. board orders recalls against 4 GOP senators," March 12, 2012
  27. BusinessWeek, "Wisconsin Officials Get More Time to Study Recall Petitions," March 13, 2012
  28. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Recall votes set for May 8 and June 5," March 14, 2012
  29. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "State Sen. Galloway to resign, leaving Senate split," accessed March 16, 2012
  30. Green Bay Press Gazette, "Citizens For Responsible Government Network plans to recall 2 state senators over mine vote," March 19, 2012
  31. WSAW, "Rep. Petrowski to run for 29th District Senate Seat," March 21, 2012
  32. Channel 3000, "GOP Plans To Run Democratic Candidates In 4 Recall Races," March 30, 2012
  33. WQOW "Wis. Senate recall challengers file signatures," April 10, 2012
  34. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "GAB Special Board Meeting," accessed April 16, 2012
  35. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Elections officials say fake candidates can remain on recall ballots," April 17, 2012
  36. WQOW, "Absentee voting for recall primary election begins Monday," April 23, 2012
  37. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "4 Democrats easily win Senate primaries," May 9, 2012
  38. Ashland Current, "Jauch Recall Suspended, Announcement Says," May 11, 2012
  39. WTAQ, "Absentee balloting begins today in recall elections," May 21, 2012
  40. WAOW, "Wanggaard still not conceding election," June 6, 2012
  41. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wanggaard calls for recount in Senate recall race," June 15, 2012
  42. Chicago Tribune, "Recount: Dem wins Wisconsin Senate recall," July 2, 2012
  43. Wisconsin State Journal, "Senate recall recount expected to end Monday," July 1, 2012
  44. Huffington Post, "Van Wanggaard, Republican Wisconsin State Senator, Drops Recount Appeal," July 10, 2012
  45. Wisconsin Radio Network, "Senate leadership transferred to Democrats," July 17, 2012