Rebecca Kleefisch defeats Mahlon Mitchell for Lt. Governor, but Democrats take control of state Senate
isconsin Gov. Scott Walker became the first governor in American history to survive a recall, defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett Tuesday in an election that drew national attention and may determine the direction the state goes in the November presidential election.
Walker garnered 53% of the votes cast in the state (1,246,028 votes). Barrett received 46% of the votes (1,070,721).
The governor took the majority of the 72 counties in Wisconsin. As expected, Barrett won Milwaukee county. He also won Kenosha, Dane, Rock, Iowa, Menominee, Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas Counties.
Walker’s win may be the reaffirmation of their agenda Republicans needed to justify their stance on limited government, slashing spending on programs for the poor, families, education, the elderly and medically challenged, as well as drastically limiting the influence of (if not outright destroy) unions by taking away their collective bargaining ability.
In the recall election for Lt. Governor, incumbent Rebecca Kleefisch also won, defeating challenger Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, 53% (1,300,184 votes) to 47% (1,154,515 votes).
Black Milwaukeeans turned out enmass to vote thanks to a concerted effort by Democrats, Black political and community leaders, the unions and “get out the vote” organizations that canvassed the community and held informational and registration sessions educating and energizing residents.
Some observers believe the efforts leading up to the election should not be wasted by Democrats. They suggest organizers continue registering, educating and motivating voters, especially in the Black community for the legislative battles still ahead, especially a final decision on the constitutionality of the Voter ID Law that was suspended for this election until the state Supreme Court renders a decision.
Though Walker cannot be recalled for the remainder of his four-year term, he still has the cloud of a possible John Doe investigation by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm and the FBI hanging over his head.
According to reports, six individuals who worked for Walker during his time as Milwaukee County Executive and on his 2010 campaign have been indicted for allegedly taking money from a fund for military veterans and their families and alleged electioneering while on county time and using county resources.
Only one of the four Republican state senators lost recall elections. But it was the one that counted. With Democratic challenger John Lehman’s reported win over incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard, the Democrats now have a one vote majority over Republicans in the Senate.
Observers see this shift as significant because it could slow the effort of the Walker administration to pass more conservative legislation.
Before the Tuesday election the 33 member legislative body was evenly split between Democrats and Republicans who lost three seats: two in an earlier recall election and another through resignation after being threatened with recall. –Story compiled from various sources by MCJ Staff