Six Senate Republican Recall Petitions Certified for July 12; Three Senate Dems Face Recall Elections a Week Later

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) has certified recall petitions for six Republican Senators – Sens. Robert Cowles (Green Bay); Alberta Darling (River Hills); Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls); Randy Hopper (Fond du Lac); Dan Kapanke (La Crosse); and Luther Olsen (Ripon). Those elections will take place on July 12.

GAB officials went to court last week in Dane County asking for an extension of time to review the petitions filed against three Senate Democrats – Sens. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay); Jim Holperin (D-Rhinelander); and Robert Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie). The court ruled that GAB has until June 10 to review the petitions against the Democrats. GAB subsequently met on June 8 and certified all three petitions and established a July 19 election date, a week after the Senate Republican recall elections.

Kim Simac, president of the Northwoods Patriots and a leader of the Tea Party movement in the state of Wisconsin, is challenging Jim Holperin. State Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) is running against Sen. Alberta Darling. Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) is running against Senator Hansen (D-Green Bay). In addition, former Brown County Board Supervisor Rich Langan will challenge Sen. Cowles (R-Green Bay), and Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) will take on Senator Kapanke (R-La Crosse).

There have also been reports that the Republican Party may have individuals run as Democrats to force a primary election and allow those Republican senators who face recall elections more time to campaign. They argue that they are busy working on the budget in Madison and will have little time to campaign once they’re finished.