Walker wins recall election; wins big in the state and St. Croix County
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has survived the recall challenge, defeated challenger Tom Barrett, a Democrat.
As of late Tuesday night, Walker had been declared the winner by all major news outlets and held a commanding lead over Barrett. With 2,997 of 3424 state precincts reporting (88 percent), Walker had 1,130,742 votes to Barrett's 942,431.
There have not been many - two to be exact, but Walker became the first governor in the country's history to survive a recall election.
"Bringing our state together will take some time, but I hope to start right away," Walker said in a statement. "It is time to put our differences aside and figure out ways that we can move Wisconsin forward."
The Republican governor held onto his seat in a rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom Walker beat by nearly 6 percentage points in 2010. Turnout Tuesday was far higher than it had been in 2010, and Walker's margin of victory appeared to be headed much higher.
Walker was also a big winner in St. Croix County. The unofficial total showed Walker with 20,884 votes to Barrett's 13,172. Walker won all 41 precincts in St. Croix County except one: Hudson's ward 9-10. Walker won, however, by substantial margins in all other Hudson wards, and most other precincts within the county.
St. Croix County Republican Party Chair Jesse Garza said he was thrilled with the win.
"We're elated over the victory and the margin of victory," Garza said. "It's a testament to the voters of Wisconsin who want to keep the state moving forward."
Garza admitted he was a bit surprised at the margin of walker's win.
"We anticipated a closer race," he said. "We worked hard right up until 8 p.m. Tuesday night. We were never cocky, but always were cautious. We took this campaign very seriously.
"I'm proud of all our volunteers and their hard work. This victory actually is a bell weather for the general election in November. This gives us a lot of momentum. We saw so many new people coming into our victory center in Hudson - people we had never seen before. They wanted to help.
"I told our workers to take tomorrow off, but be ready to get back to work on June 7 to start our work to defeat Obama and work for our candidates in the November election."
Garza said he was happy to see Walker's support so strong all across the state.
"The governor had tremendous support throughout Wisconsin," Garza said. "We expect to lose Dane (Madison) and Milwaukee counties, but Walker won most all others."
At last report on Tuesday night, Barrett had leads in only nine of the state's 72 counties.
"The voters of Wisconsin want to see our state grow and they believe Scott Walker is moving things in the right direction."
"We are exceedingly disappointed in the results, which we feel will continue to have a detrimental effect on our state's students, elderly, poor and women," said St. Croix County Democrat Party Chair Cathy Leaf. "Unfortunately the divide and conquer strategies of the Walker administration will continue to destroy the middle class in our state. We will continue to fight and hold his administration accountable every step of the way until we have our chance to have our voices heard again."
The results Tuesday do not stop our firm opposition to the changes sought by Scott Walker," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate.
"In fact, even as we congratulate Scott Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin on winning a hard-fought fight, we look for him to join us in changing the tenor and tone of the debate.
"Because the debate must continue. Unions must be able to bargain collectively and provide workers with basic protections."
In St. Croix County, Walker held a commanding lead in most all municipalities. Walker won 40 of 41 precincts in the county. A sampling of the unofficial totals (totals will change with the addition of absentee ballots, etc.) were:
City of Hudson: Walker 2,893; Barrett 2,304.
City of New Richmond: Walker 1,468; Barrett 1,188.
Village of North Hudson: Walker 1,043; Barrett 683.
Town of Hudson: Walker 2,496; Barrett 1,271.
Town of St. Joseph: Walker 1,237; Barrett 605.
Town of Troy: Walker 1,482; Barrett 814.
Village of Star Prairie: Walker 126; Barrett 95.
Village of Somerset: Walker 379; Barrett 297.
Town of Richmond: Walker 796; Barrett 420.
Town of Somerset: Walker 1,098; Barrett 548.
Town of Star Prairie: Walker 894; Barrett 467.
Town of Stanton: Walker 224; Barrett 163.
Town of Warren: Walker 460; Barrett 263.
Village of Roberts: Walker 325; Barrett 260.
Town of Hammond: Walker 623; Barrett 257.
City of River Falls: Walker 696; Barrett 681.
Also on the recall ballot were Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four state Senate seats. Kleefisch defeated her Democratic opponent, Madison firefighter and union president Mahlon Mitchell, in the nation's first-ever recall election of a lieutenant governor.
The incumbent Republicans were also leading in all four Senate races.