Right now, Wisconsin has a Republican governor and lieutenant governor. But after Tuesday’s recall elections, the top two officials could be from different parties. In normal elections, the two candidates run on a single ticket. But in recall elections, public officials are on their own. So theoretically, Gov. Scott Walker (R) could hold on to his seat, while Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) could lose to Mahlon Mitchell, meaning Walker would have to work with a Democrat. “Highly unlikely,” former Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold told The Huffington Post when asked about this scenario. Both Mitchell and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) also dismissed the possibility, arguing that people were likely to choose two candidates from the same party. “We don’t see that split-ticket scenario at all. We’re not factoring that in,” said Barrett.
“I believe that when someone goes and votes for a Democratic lieutenant governor, they in turn go and vote for a Democratic governor — and vice versa. So I don’t see that being a real threat. I haven’t thought much about it,” added Mitchell. Still, it could happen. People might check the box for Walker but leave the box for lieutenant governor blank — while more Democratic voters fill it in for Mitchell.
Technically, the lieutenant governor is in charge of Wisconsin whenever the governor is “absent,” but with modern technology, it’s possible to conduct business even when out of state. But as the Associated Press noted, a lieutenant governor could still declare him- or herself in charge every time the governor leaves the state — and cause an incredible amount of mischief.