Wisconsin Democrats defend Senate seats in final recall election
Wisconsin Democratic state Senators Jim Holperin and Bob Wirch defended their seats from Republican challengers on Tuesday in the final set of recall elections.
Unofficial results show Holperin and Wirch easily defeated Republican candidates Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz.
“I am proud to continue to represent the people of the Kenosha region,” Wirch said in a statement. “The future of Wisconsin depends on the strength of our working, middle class families and I look forward to returning to Madison with two new Democratic Senators to enact a moderate, Wisconsin agenda that supports them.”
In total, Democrats won 5 of the 9 recall contests.
Wisconsin Democrats picked up two seats in the state Senate after defeating incumbent Republicans in recall elections on August 9, falling short of the three seats needed to gain a majority.
Another Democratic senator, Dave Hansen, successfully defended his seat in a July 19 recall election.
“The victories tonight of Senators Wirch and Holperin cap off successful recall elections this summer for Democrats, progressives, moderates and independents,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said.
“Democrats won more races, recalled two Republican senators, protected every Democratic incumbent, shifted the balance of power in the state Senate away from conservatives, and forced Walker and the GOP to pay public lip service to moderation and bipartisanship for the first time since they took power in January,” he added.
Under Wisconsin law, any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term can be recalled from office. Democrats are expected to launch a recall effort against Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who was inaugurated last January, in 2012, although support for such as recall is decreasing.