At a March 30 meeting, the five-member Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voted unanimously to formally certify recall elections against Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch, and four Republican state senators: Scott Fitzgerald, Van Wanggaard, Terry Moulton, and Pam Galloway.
All six recall elections have been scheduled for May 8, and if that becomes a primary election, the general election date would be June 5. The Republican party has indicated it will run “protest” candidates to force a Democratic primary in each race, ensuring there is “one clear date for the primary election and one clear date for the general election.”
Candidates wishing to run in any of the six recall races have until April 10 at 5 p.m. to file their nomination papers. State Senate candidates need a minimum of 400 signatures and governor and lieutenant governor candidates need a minimum of 2,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Four candidates have already announced they will run against Gov. Walker: Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Secretary of State Doug La Follette, and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma.
Television ads targeting Falk and Barrett have already begun to air, hinting at the large amount of money that will be spent between now and June 5.
The first campaign finance reports for the recall elections will be due April 30, and will cover the time period from January 1 to April 23. These reports are highly anticipated because incumbents were allowed to raise unlimited funds during the petition phase. Funds raised in excess of the normal limits which have not been spent responding to the recall petitions must be returned to contributors, donated to charity, or transferred to another committee.
At its March 30 meeting, the GAB also voted 5-0 to post on its website searchable databases of all those who signed the recall petitions with addresses removed.