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Wisconsin recalls could lead to governor and lieutenant governor of different parties

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May 31, 2012

By: Greg Janetka

Wisconsin

MADISON, Wisconsin: With recalls of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor less than a week away, some have begun wondering what happens if the two elected are members of different parties. Normally, the two are chosen on a joint ticket, but under state law, each officeholder faces a separate recall.[1]

The Wisconsin Constitution used to allow separate elections for the offices, but it was amended in 1970 to ensure they were elected jointly. Having a governor and lieutenant governor of separate parties is not unprecedented and occurred in the 1960s when Republican Warren Knowles was elected governor and Democrat Patrick Lucey lieutenant governor. Lucey, however, notes that that was a different era, stating, "Warren and I had known each other for a long time. We got along fine."[1] With Wisconsin generally being considered the most polarized state in the nation at the moment, and given its recent unpredictable nature, it is anyone's guess how a split administration would turn out.

The recalls take place on June 5. There are also four state senators facing recall.

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