An pro-Democratic redistricting group headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sued Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, on Monday for declining to hold special elections for two vacant seats in the state legislature. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee alleged in the lawsuit filed in Dane County Circuit Court that Walker was violating the law and denying Wisconsin voters representation by leaving the elected offices unfilled until 2019. The seats, one in the state Assembly and the other in the state Senate, became vacant in December when two Republican lawmakers resigned to accept jobs in Walker’s administration.
Democrats quickly called for special elections, hoping to pick up seats, but Walker demurred. Last month, a Democrat won a special election for another Wisconsin state Senate seat that Republicans had held for 17 years. Republicans control both state legislative chambers.
“Governor Scott Walker’s refusal to hold special elections is an affront to representative democracy,” Holder, who served as attorney general under former Democratic President Barack Obama, said in a statement issued with the lawsuit.