July 19 – Recall Election for Democratic Senators in Wisconsin
**UPDATE** – Republican Assemblyman John Nygren was knocked off the ballot in the 30th district, so the first head-to-head recall will actually be for a Democrat. The race pits Dave Hansen against David Vanderleest (see below)
It took a little bit of extra time to certify the signatures, but 3 Democratic State Senators will face recall election on July 19, a week after 6 of their Republican colleagues will face voters, in reaction to the ending of collective bargaining rights by the Republican majority and the Democrats resorting to fleeing the state in what was ultimately a vain attempt at preventing the bill’s passage.
District 12 – Jim Holperin
Representing a border district in the extreme north-east of the state, this is actually not Senator Jim Holperin’s first recall campaign, he actually survived a campaign against him in 1990 when he was a State Representative over his support of the Chippewa tribe’s fishing rights. Many believe this is the best chance for Republicans to pick up a seat in these recall elections, Holperin narrowly won in 2008 and the rural district is quite split in its political makeup.
The Senator may have a little extra time to prepare however. Due to the complexities of this unusual election, primaries push the election 4 weeks later. Since there are currently two Republican candidates (as there are for the other two races as well), it may mean that he will not face voters until August. Right now, Republican Kim Simac, a local Tea Party leader for the North Woods and Robert Lussow, Lincoln County Board Chairman.
District 22 – Robert Wirch
Though he received over two-thirds of the vote in 2008, Senator Robert Wirch will have to work hard to keep his seat during this year’s election. The Kenosha based district in the southeast corner of the state is generally Democratic but in an off-year election, turnout will be key.
Kenosha County Board supervisor Fred Ekornaas and Jonathan Steitz, an attorney in Kenosha will face each other in the Republican primary.
District 30 – Dave Hansen
Just to the south of Senator Holperin’s district, Senator Dave Hansen also approached a two-thirds electoral victory in 2008. A native of Green Bay, he serves as Assistant Minority Leader and has been in the Senate since 2000.
Assemblyman John Nygren of Marnette will be looking to head to the upper chamber as the Republican challenger, but first he will have to beat David Vanderleest, who organized the recall and is a realtor in the Republican primary.