While the national media attention has been focused on the upcoming GOP primary in Wisconsin, there’s another political battle gearing up in the Badger State, and it involves both Democrats and Republicans. On Friday, the Government Accountability Board of Wisconsin is expected to certify the 1 million petitions turned in in January to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. With a special gubernatorial election pending, Democrats and Republicans in the state are bracing for a tight race ahead. A special election is tentatively scheduled for June 5, with a Democratic primary to take place four weeks earlier, on May 8. (Those dates will be made official after the recall is certified.) Three Democrats have declared their candidacies – former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, Wisconsin secretary of state Doug LaFollette and state senator Kathleen Vinehout.
Tom Barrett, the Democratic mayor of Milwaukee who ran against Walker for governor in 2010 and lost, is reportedly considering another run, but he has not declared his candidacy yet. He is expected to make a decision by the beginning of next week. Democrats in the state are flying high ahead of the official start of what will be a relatively short election season. “We’re feeling great,” Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Mike Tate told ABC News. “I think the people of Wisconsin are ready to fire Scott Walker and hire a new governor.”
The overwhelming success of the efforts by United Wisconsin to collect the signatures necessary to bring about a recall election might be interpreted as a sign that Walker is going to face a seriously uphill battle in this special election. However, recent polling shows that is not the case.