Wisconsin recall elections officially underway
Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has voted 5-0 to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker after receiving nearly 901,000 signatures, many more than the 540,208 required by law to trigger an election, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.
The recall elections are the culmination of months of effort by state Democrats and labor unions who spearheaded a backlash against the first-term governor, who ran afoul of public opinion last year. Shortly after taking office, the well-funded tea party favorite joined Republicans in the state senate in attempting to strip public labor unions of their ability to collectively bargain.
Throughout the winter and spring of 2011, demonstrators lined the streets and sidewalks of Wisconsin’s capital city, Madison. The protests became a lightning rod for widespread discontent over the radical policies of the tea party wing of the Republican Party.
Now Governor Walker and his Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch face recall by Wisconsin voters, as well as a quartet of other Republicans, all members of the state legislature. Primaries in the recalls will be held on May 5, if necessary, with the general recall election taking place on June 5.
Primaries are expected in the races for governor and lieutenant governor because three Democrats have announced their intentions to run in each of those races. Walker is the first governor in Wisconsin’s history to face a recall.