Democrats are claiming victory after retaining both seats in final two recalls. Tuesday’s recall elections weren’t about deciding which party would control the Senate, but by how much. The answer to that question is just one vote. The Republicans maintain the majority by a slim 17-16 margin.
State Democratic Party chair Mike Tate claims victory following the nine historic recall elections. “The momentum is with us moving into next year … we won five of nine seats. We defended all Democrats who ran on their record of standing up to Scott Walker and we defeated two Republicans who stood with Scott Walker.”
Democrats Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) and Jim Holperin (D-Conover) were the final two lawmakers to face recalls for leaving the capital city to avoid voting on the collective bargaining bill. Holperin is the only state lawmaker in the nation to face recall twice.
Meanwhile, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says five out of nine is no victory. “I don’t know how you can draw that conclusion after winning just five out of nine. So to me it really still comes down to which party maintains control.”
Fitzgerald is disappointed they weren’t able to add to their majority, but he’s optimistic they can move forward to create an economic and jobs agenda.
Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) says Tuesday’s wins “indicate a rejection of Governor Scott Walker’s extreme and hyperpartisan agenda.”
Holperin defeated challenger, tea party activist Kim Simac, and Wirch defeated Republican lawyer Jonathan Steitz.