UPDATE: Wanggaard asks for recount, insisting it is not a delaying tactic. “This is not about maintaining power or denying Democrats power. There are no ‘secret plans’ for a special legislative session during this recount, and no votes scheduled. … The recount I am requesting on behalf of more than 35,000 supporters has a simple philosophy behind it: ‘Trust but Verify.’ … I hope that a trusted and verified result of the election will finally allow us to move forward.”
A recount decision will be made Friday in the 21st state Senate District.
Poplar Democratic Senator Bob Jauch says it’s time to move on; the people have spoken. “Governor Walker legitimately won the recall election,” he says, and everyone has accepted that outcome. Now, it’s time for Republicans to accept the outcome of the Racine Senate election. “The Senate Democratic candidate won — legitimately won — according to the canvass.”
An official canvass of last week’s Racine senate race gives Democratic challenger John Lehman the win by 834 votes over incumbent Republican Senator Van Wanggaard, putting Democrats in a 17-16 majority in that house. The victory for Democrats could be short lived, as half the chamber is up for reelection in November.
Wanggaard’s campaign manager, Justin Phillips, had said on Tuesday that they won’t make a decision about seeking a recount until Friday. The campaign is looking into possible election irregularities and voter fraud. Phillips said they owe at least that to Senator Wanggaard’s supporters and the voters of Wisconsin.
Jauch says the decision made by voters needs to be respected, and while the Senator has every right to ask for a recount, Jauch wants Wanggaard to concede to help heal the bitterly divided state. “He has a right to contest the case … I don’t think that this is Senator Wanggaard; I think it’s the Republican majority that is going to do what they can to prolong this to the point they have an excuse so that we do not have any majority control.”
Jauch urges members of the GOP not to drag this out. “This is not a Kingdom, and an empire. And they ought not act like Darth Vader who’s trying to control the dark side of life, because we need to respect these elections whether we like them or not.”
Wanggaard defeated Lehman for this seat just a year and a half ago, in November 2010. He has until the end of business day Friday to decide whether to request and pay for a recount.
The Racine County District Attorney’s office is asking the Racine County Sheriff’s office for an investigation into the suspected fraud, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s office sent out Thursday afternoon.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:23