In one week Wisconsin will be taking part in historic recall election primaries. The general consensus is Governor Scott Walker will handily win the Republican primary against “Lincoln Republican” Arthur Kohl-Riggs and one of the official Democratic candidates and not the Wisconsin GOP appointed fake Democrat, Gladys Huber, will win the Democratic primary. In the Senatorial races there are similar expectations. Even so, there are some extremely long shot scenarios that could play out and further Wisconsin’s descent into political madcappery. This post exists solely for the purpose of conducting an exercise in futility by considering those “what if…” scenarios. What if a “protest” candidate wins? While the state GOP has said on numerous occasions that it wouldn’t be actively campaigning on behalf of their protest candidates that doesn’t mean the candidates won’t actively campaign or that local Republican parties won’t actively campaign. Last year we saw the St. Croix County Republican Party dump a substantial amount of time and money into promoting District 10 fake candidate Isaac Weix (who is running as a fake candidate again in the Lt. Governor race). Weix’s role was to trigger a Democratic recall against incumbent State Senator Shelia Harsdorf’s challenger Shelly Moore. Of the six recall primaries that summer Moore came the closest to losing to her protest challenger.
This time around at least one protest candidate has been actively campaigning. Fake candidate Tamra Varebrook is lending the assist to Incumbent District 21 State Senator Van Wanggaard. Varebrook has already held at least one fundraising event in her effort to challenge the actual Democrat in the race, former State Senator John Lehman. So what happens if Varebrook, or one of the other fake candidates, manage to defeat their Democratic opponents in the primary?
According to Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Public Information Officer Reid Magney the winner of a primary can’t choose to bow out and “have his or her name removed from the ballot after a primary (or even before a primary once the candidate has been certified). Only a deceased candidate’s name can be removed from a ballot (but only before the ballots are printed).”
Technically, the protest candidate could end up being the challenger to the incumbent they’re trying to protect. If the Democratic Party of Wisconsin chose to they could dump money into promoting that person as their official candidate in the election. It would put the candidate in an awkward Brewster’s Millions-type scenario of needing to campaign against being elected. In an unlikely twist the protest candidate could go on to defeat the very incumbent they sought to protect.