The first attempt to kick a state senator out of office fell way short. Democratic Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay won his recall election handily Monday with 66 percent of the vote. Republican David VanderLeest had just 34 percent.
Eight more senators will be on recall ballots next month, six Republicans and two Democrats.
“We’ve hopefully created some momentum as we move forward for the next eight weeks and I think we may have done that,” says Hansen about those Democratic colleagues.
VanderLeest was the driving force behind the recall effort against Hansen during the spring and he decided to run for the seat. Republican Representative John Nygren of Marinette planned to take on Hansen but he didn’t turn in enough valid signatures to put his name on the ballot.
The leader of a recall effort against one of the other Senate Democrats is moving on to next month’s election. Kim Simac of Eagle River won Monday’s Republican primary in District 12 over Robert Lussow of Tomahawk. Simac will meet incumbent Jim Holperin of Conover in a recall election on August 16th.
That election will also have Republican Jonathan Steitz of Pleasant Prairie facing Senate Democrat Robert Wirch. This after Steitz defeated Fred Ekornass of Bristol in Monday’s primary in District 22.
The recall elections for the six GOP senators are set for August 9th.