State Senators Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch held on Tuesday night to defeat GOP challengers in the last of the recall elections. The recall this week was spurred by Senate Democrats leaving the state to avoid a vote on collective bargaining, something Holperin says the voters affirmed. “The voters are agreeing that legislation should have been slowed down and should’ve received more consideration.”
In a statement Holperin’s challenger, Kim Simac, thanked supporters. “There was an unbelievable amount of energy and enthusiasm here, and I hope Jim Holperin remembers that above all he is accountable to all the voters of this district.”
Wirch says the election shows that people want their legislators to work together. “Hopefully we can get back to that in this state, respect for each other negotiate and not try and destroy unions.”
Wirch’s challenger Jonathan Steitz says he believes, while he did not prevail at the polls, his message was heard. “I think we sent a clear message we expect our representatives to act a certain way and there will be consequences if they don’t.”
Democrats picked up two seats last week in recalls against six Republican Senators, spurred by the GOP lawmakers support of the collective bargaining bill.
Republicans hold a slim one vote majority in the Senate, giving Democrats more optimism in the ability to affect legislation. Although a number of big measures have already passed including the new state budget, the move to limit collective bargaining and voter ID.