Six fake Democratic candidates put up by the Republican Party to buy time for Republican state senators subject to recalls accomplished that job Tuesday, but none of them did the unexpected and knocked off a real Democrat.
Candidates backed by the Democratic Party won all six Senate primary elections, all but one of them by substantial amounts. They’ll all go on to face the Republican incumbents on Aug. 9, in an attempt by Democrats to regain control of the state Senate and put the brakes on Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda. That the primaries were held at all is a function of the twists and turns of political strategy played out in recent months as the state broke into warring camps over Walker’s attempt to restrict collective bargaining for public employees.
The Republican Party forced the primaries to give its six senators facing recall another four weeks before facing a Democratic challenger, in order to allow them to take their case to the voters and argue that their work on the budget was good for the state.
… But there was some activity in the final week to turn out voters for those candidates.
One of the most prominent efforts was in Harsdorf’s 10th Senate District, where Jesse Garza, chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party, sent out an email urging recipients to vote Tuesday, telling them a vote for Weix was the same as a vote for Harsdorf.
Moore was probably the Democrat most vulnerable to this tactic, as she didn’t have the name recognition the other Democrats did – all of them having run for or held a major office in their districts.
Calls urging votes for the fake Democrats were reported in three other Senate districts last week – Olsen’s, Hopper’s and Kapanke’s – with a piece of literature sent out in Hopper’s. It said voting for protest Democrat Buckstaff over King was a way to express support for Walker.
The primaries set up major faceoffs in the six districts, with national attention on the races, and massive amounts of money and national advertising flowing into the state.