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Doug's Diggings: Recall wrap; centennial success

Everyone is happy that the recall election is over. I'm with the crowd, but there are a couple of statistical items that might be of interest to a few regarding the local recall election numbers.

As was reported last week, Gov. Scott Walker won St. Croix County pretty handily (20,884-13,172). In fact, he won all 41 precincts in St. Croix County except one -- the city of Hudson District 5 which includes wards 9-10.

Challenger Tom Barrett won that single county precinct by a wide margin, 523-451. If you are wondering, that district covers all of "old" Hudson. It stretches from Coulee Road to Lake Mallalieu and goes from the St. Croix River to the east to Seventh Street on the south side of the district and Ninth Street on the north side of the district. A little sliver continues farther east past Burton Field out along Baer Drive.

I guess what first surprised me, however, is that I suspected there are precincts around the county that are more "Democrat" than anything around Hudson. If you look at some past elections, there are a number of precincts around the county that are traditionally Democrat. But, when comparing election results from 2010, Walker was the big winner in St. Croix County (17,452-10,397) that year also. In 2010, Walker again won all precincts expect that same area of Hudson (precincts were slightly different in 2010, Barrett won District 4 (275-274) and District 5 (271-263). In 2010, like 2012, Walker won every other precinct in the county.

Another bit of local information: The town of Hudson, which is only one county precinct, had by far, the largest voter turnout in a single precinct. Keep in mind, however, the city of Hudson is broken into six precincts. But, the town of Hudson went for Walker 2,496-1,271. The town's vote total for Walker wasn't too far behind the city's six precincts, which went 2,893-2,304 for Walker. Bottom line, the town of Hudson is one big precinct! When you look around the county, you'll find many precincts with just a few hundred total votes.

The town of Hudson also went big for Walker in 2010. He collected 2,113 to Barrett's 986. The total city vote in 2010, by the way, was 2,421 for Walker and 1,856 for Barrett.

Many Wisconsinites are suffering from campaign-overload, but if you are a political junkie the next election is just around the corner! There is an August primary and, of course, the November election that will include a number of national, state and local races.

The U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin will determine who wins the seat of retiring Democrat Herb Kohl. At least four high-profile Republicans will be competing in the primary: former Gov. Tommy Thompson, businessman Eric Hovde, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. The winner is expected to face Tammy Baldwin, a Democratic U.S. representative from Madison.

Given Wisconsin's role as a battleground state, political experts expect both the Senate and presidential races to attract plenty of national attention. That generally means plenty of ad spending by outside groups and likely campaign stops by many, including presidential candidates.

Hudson, of course, has become a popular stopping point for state candidates. We have a theory that they like Hudson for a couple of reasons. First, our area has grown to the point that it has a large block of voters. Second, a stop in Hudson usually means Twin Cities media coverage which helps candidates get their message to many points in western Wisconsin.


The village of North Hudson centennial celebration was held last Sunday afternoon and it was indeed a success. One of the highlights was the arrival of Village President George Klein in a beautifully restored 1950 police car -- with the siren wailing.

The entertainment at the celebration was outstanding and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Many people donated a lot of time to make the three-hour celebration successful. The committee members, as listed in the program, included Klein, Mona Houston (committee chair), Deb Copeland, Ryan Nelson, Colleen O'Brien Berglund, Diane Ruona, Barbara Smrdel and Mary Wekkin. And, there were many, many others who performed, worked at the event and assisted with various activities by donating both time and money.

To all - great job!