Control of the Wisconsin Senate looked to have flipped to the Democrats early Wednesday, pending a recount in the closely-fought recall election. Preliminary results cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggested former Democratic senator John Lehman defeated GOP incumbent Van Wanggaard by less than 800 votes. Republicans had held on to the three other state Senate seats in Tuesday’s recall voting. Wanggaard’s campaign manager Justin Phillips hinted a recount could be called, in a statement issued early Wednesday. “We owe it to all of Senator Wanggaard’s supporters and the voters of Wisconsin to thoroughly examine the election and its results and act accordingly once we have all of the information,” Phillips said.
Lehman’s victory, if confirmed, could turn out be no more than a moral victory, with a new round of state senate elections due in November, when 16 of 33 seats are up for grabs. Any result is also unlikely to take the shine off of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s historic victory late Tuesday, as he became the first US governor to survive a recall election over his efforts to curb union powers.