Democrats appear to have gained control of Wisconsin SenateWisconsin News
A ballot canvass in Racine County Tuesday confirmed State Sen. Van Wanggaard's recall election defeat from a week ago. The canvass showed that Democrat John Lehman won by 834 votes, 55 more than last Tuesday night’s count.
Republican State Sen. Van Wanggaard is expected to announce by the end of Friday whether he’ll seek a recount. A ballot canvass in Racine County Tuesday confirmed his recall election defeat from a week ago. The canvass showed that Democrat John Lehman won by 834 votes – 55 more than last Tuesday night’s count. Should Lehman’s victory hold up, the Democrats would gain a 17-16 majority in the Senate at least until November when half the chamber is up for re-election.
Wanggaard’s campaign manager, Justin Phillips, said he’s still trying to confirm reports of election irregularities and perhaps voter fraud. Both candidates gained votes in yesterday’s canvass due to late-arriving absentee ballots, and votes that were not counted from touch-screens at a polling place in Racine.
Senate Elections Committee chairwoman Mary Lazich, a Republican from New Berlin, said voters would have been able to have more confidence had a photo ID requirement been in place.
Lazich would not say whether Wanggard should seek a recount, saying, “It’s Van’s decision now.”
It would cost Wanggard $5 a ward, or $635. If there’s not a recount, Lehman,who lost his Senate seat to Wanggaard in 2010, could be sworn in as early as next week after state officials certify the voting results.
Governor holds ‘Brat Summit’
State lawmakers from both parties said Tuesday’s “Brat Summit” at the governor’s mansion gave them a chance to treat each other with more respect. Many said it was a good “first step” toward a more civil discussion of the issues facing Wisconsin.
Almost 100 lawmakers and their spouses and aides accepted Gov. Scott Walker’s invitation to enjoy beer, brats and conversation. The Republican governor put on the event and grilled the brats after 17 months of nonstop political tension and protests which led to last week’s recall elections.
The event brought back memories of simpler days as recently as the 1980s, when former Gov. Tony Earl occasionally joined the bipartisan social hours that lawmakers held on many nights at Madison’s Avenue Bar. But those days are long gone.
This year’s version of the Avenue Bar was much grander, with things you wouldn’t see back in the ’80s – like a news helicopter, security at the gate and about two dozen protestors calling attention to the John Doe investigation into Walker’s former Milwaukee County aides. One sign read, “Healing begins with indictment.”