Republicans in Wisconsin’s La Crosse County recently discussed the possibility of finding a spoiler candidate to run against Democrat Jennifer Schilling in the race to recall state Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse), a scenario they say would cost Democrats more money and delay the entire election.
The revelation, first published by the La Crosse Tribune, came from a secret recording made during the party’s general membership meeting on May 25.
On the recording, which was obtained by The Huffington Post, La Crosse County Republican Party Vice Chairman Julian Bradley is heard recounting a conversation he had with Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the state party. “[W]e are actively keeping our ears to the ground and if anybody knows anybody for a candidate that would be interested on the Democratic side in running in the primary against Jennifer Shilling … if anybody knows any Democrats who would be interested, please let us know,” he said.
Kapanke is one of Democrats’ top targets in the effort to recall the Republican senators who voted for a controversial measure stripping collective bargaining from the state’s public workers. So far, his only challenger is state Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), and the La Crosse Tribune recently reported that neither were expected to have any primary competitors.
The election is expected to be held on July 12, unless more than one challenger comes forward. If that happens, the state may have to push back the election date — a scenario that, as Bradley notes on the tape, “would give the state senator an extra month to campaign in. The opposition would obviously have to spend more time and more money.”