February 14, 2016

Possible recounts on horizon

Three Assembly elections and one state Senate race face possible recounts, but no matter what happens Republicans will hold majorities in both houses.

Democratic Senator Jessica King issued a statement Tuesday saying she’s not going to concede to her opponent Rick Gudex in the 18th District. She says the race is too close to call and she will wait for the official canvass results.

With unofficial numbers at 590 votes over the incumbent, the Republican Gudex is satisfied he won the election. “Whatever the results are, the results are, but I’m fairly confident we’ll end up being the victor.” Gudex says he knew the race for the Fond du Lac area seat would be close but “didn’t expect it would be this close.”

King asked for a recount in 2008 when Randy Hopper beat her by 180 votes. The recount gave Hopper the victory, but King won the seat in recall election in August of last year.

Gudex winning would give Republicans a 18-15 majority in the Senate. The 18th District victory would allow them to pass contentious legislation without worrying about a dissenting vote from within their party. An example is moderate Republican Dale Schultz whose vote killed the GOP’s mining package last spring.

Of the four possible recounts, only one contest has a margin of defeat less than one-half-of-one-percent, meaning it’s the only case in which taxpayers would cover the cost of a recount. That race is in the 72nd Assembly District with first-term Republican Scott Krug of Wisconsin Rapids holding a 114 vote lead over firefighter Justin Pleuss.

Bob Nelson-KFIZ contributed to this report

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