Wisconsin Recall Elections Disappoint Democrats

Despite millions of dollars and endless work invested by Democrats and union groups, only two Republican state senators lost their seats in recall elections throughout Wisconsin this week.

The Republicans have maintained their control of the State Senate, making Gov. Scott Walker victorious despite protests following his move to limit bargaining rights for public workers.

The majority now held by the Republicans is 17-16, after losing Senators Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac to Democratic challengers. Previously, the Republicans had led with a 19-14 majority. With six recall elections in one day, Republicans could have suffered worse damage.

In the recall election, four Republicans held on to their job, including Senators Robert Cowles of Green Bay, Luther Olsen of Ripon and Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls. Senator Alberta Darling, the Republican co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee had been described as “the crown jewel of our recall efforts” by the Democratic Party. The counting of her votes took several hours, but she was deemed the winner in the end.