Robert Lussow

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Robert Lussow
Former candidate for
Wisconsin State Senate District 12

Political party Republican
Profession County Board chairman
Robert Lussow was a Republican candidate for District 12 of the Wisconsin State Senate, in the recall election against current incumbent Sen. Democrat Jim Holperin. Lussow lost to Kim Simac in the primary on July 19, 2011.

Lussow is the current Lincoln County Board Chairman. He has served on the board for 11 years.[1]

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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



See also: Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011) and Jim Holperin recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2011)

Lussow announced on May 18 that he would run against Democrat Jim Holperin if a campaign to recall the current incumbent senator is approved.[2] About 23,000 signatures to recall Holperin were filed on April 21, 2011. Signatures have been filed against nine different state senators in Wisconsin. A total of 16 were originally targeted for recall.[3]

Lussow is not a member of the Republican Party, according to the Republican Party of Lincoln County Chair, Bob Rajek.[1]

In a post on his Facebook page, Lussow explained why he ran:[4]

I'm in this because I'm tired of the negligence, the posturing, and the pussyfooting around the real issues faced by our communities. Put another way, I'm done with the dishonesty, disingenuousness, and outright disregard for the people of this district and this state.

July 19 Republican Primary

Lussow lost to Simac in the primary.

July 19 Republican primary[5]
Candidates Votes Percent
Kim Simac Approveda 11,300 58.53%
Robert Lussow 7,765 40.22%
Scattering 242 1.25%


On June 21, Senator Jim Holperin participated in a debate with Robert Lussow.[6]

The debate was held at Tomahawk High School, with the majority of talks covering education. Lussow supported the new collective bargaining law but voiced his opposition to the cuts to education in the recently-passed state budget. Meanwhile, Holperin defended his actions in fleeing the state during the collective bargaining bill negotiations.

Roughly 100 people were in attendance at the debate. However, Kim Simac did not attend. “For whatever reason, she decided to decline," Lussow said. Kimac posted on her facebook page that she was unable to attend because she is running her horse camp and cannot commit to events during a two-week period.[7]

Currently no further debates are planned, though there have been discussions of scheduling more.[6]

Nominating papers challenged

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin filed challenges against the nominating papers of Lussow, Kim Simac, John Nygren and David VanderLeest on June 24. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board considered the challenges on June 27,[8] certifying all of the candidates except for Nygren. While he turned in 424, the Board found only 398 of those to be valid, two short of the 400 necessary to make the ballot.[9]


Ads relating to the campaign

Certification challenge delays

On May 27, 2011, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced it would be unable to consider the recall petitions for the three Democratic incumbents at the May 31, 2011 meeting. Citing "numerous factual and legal issues," the Board said in its statement that more time is needed to ensure that a complete record will be available for examination -- particularly since the decision will likely be appealed to the courts.[10]

In its release, the GAB officials said they do not expect to be able to hold a hearing on the recalls of Democratic incumbents until the week of June 6. This raises potential legal issues, as the initial extension granted to GAB for certification required it to ultimately make determinations before June 3.[10]

The board went ahead with hearings on May 31 for the recalls of Republican incumbents Sheila Harsdorf, Robert Cowles and Alberta Darling.[11] Officials released a 125-page memo on May 27, 2011 concerning the signatures and legal challenges.

The GAB filed a brief on June 1 asking the court for a one-week extension, which would give them until June 10 to finish working on the three Democratic recalls. The case was heard in Dane County Court at 1:30 pm on Friday, June 3.[12][13] Dane County Judge John Markson ruled that there was good cause for the extension, and that the GAB did not violate any rules by taking up the petitions out of order.[14]

Ultimately, on June 8, after nearly 9 hours of deliberations, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board certified the recalls of three Democratic incumbents and set an initial election for July 19.[15]

Campaign contributions

Robert Lussow Campaign Finance Reports (GAB ID No. 0105106)
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures) Cash on Hand
July Continuing[16] July 12, 2011 $0.00 $350.00 $(0) $350.00

Official reports

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wausau Daily Herald, "Lincoln Co. Board chairman challenges senator," May 19, 2011
  2. Fox 11 Online, "Potential challenger for Sen. Holperin," May 18, 2011
  3. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two state representatives won't run against Holperin," May 5, 2011
  4. Why am I running for state Senate? May 13, 2011
  5. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 19 primary results District 12," accessed August 11, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 ‘’WAOW “Holperin and Lussow face off in education forum,” June 20, 2011
  7. Kim Simac for Senate Facebook page “Post on June 21, 2011"
  8. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Challenges filed against 4 GOP candidates in recall races," June 25, 2011
  9. ‘’WisPolitics, “GAB kicks Nygren off the ballot,” June 27, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Review of recall petitions going slowly; July 12 election in doubt," May 27, 2011
  11. Greenfield Reporter, "Wis. election officials delay decision on recall petitions for Dems, may need date change," May 27, 2011
  12. WisPolitics, "GAB formally asks judge for more time to consider recall petitions against Dems," June 1, 2011
  13. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "State board requests more time to review recall petitions," June 1, 2011
  14. NBC 15, "UPDATE: Judge Grants Week Extension for Recall Review," June 3, 2011
  15. WISN, “GAB Certifies 3 Democratic Recall Elections,” June 8, 2011
  16. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Friends of for Senate," July 12, 2011