The Government Accountability Board has certified recall petitions against Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and four Republican state Senators.
The board on Friday approved the 900,939 on petitions against Governor Walker and 808,990 on petitions targeting Lt. Governor Kleefisch. It also took final action on petitions to recall Senators Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Pam Galloway (R-Wausau), Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Van Wanggaard (R-Racine). Expected Democratic primaries will now be held on May 8th and general elections will be June 5th.
State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate say the board’s action marks a “historic day in the state of Wisconsin,” which has never before recalled a sitting governor. Tate says the recalls are something that started over a year ago with the introduction on Walker’s collective bargaining legislation, but the momentum has grown due to his “repeated onslaughts on the Wisconsin idea, the Wisconsin way of life, and Wisconsin values.”
Walker’s campaign reacted to certification of the petitions in a statement, indicating they have long “anticipated the election process would move forward. Now it is time for voters to examine the choice they will be faced with in June. We believe a majority of Wisconsin voters will stand with Governor Walker’s record of laying the foundation for a more successful Wisconsin while moving the state forward and against the Democrats’ failed policies that would take Wisconsin back to the days of a $3.6 billion budget deficit.”
Several Democrats have already announced plans to run against Walker, including former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette, and state Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma). Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is also considering entering the race, but has not yet announced a decision. Tate says the field of candidates should become clear very soon because nomination papers are due in early April.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:02)