Judge approves recall election dates, new petition review deadline
the WTMJ News Team and the Associated Press
MADISON - A Wisconsin judge has signed off an agreement that would make May 8 or June 5 the dates for recall elections against Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans.
Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess gave the agreement an official OK Wednesday. The tentative deal was reached a day earlier by lawyers for the state elections board, recall committees and recall targets.
Under the deal, any required primaries would be held May 8 with a general election four weeks later, on June 5. Otherwise a primary election would have been May 1 and the general election May 29, near the Memorial Day holiday.
However, if there are no primaries required in a particular race, the May 8 election becomes a general election. TODAY'S TMJ4's Lacey Crisp reports that Republicans are considering running fake candidates in those races to ensure a June 5 general election. Candidates will then have until April 10 to decide if they would run.
Lacey Crisp also reports that the judge gave the GAB more time to finish reviewing the petitions for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. The new GAB petition review deadline is March 30.
"I think it's important that we get this, and we've said all along that we want to make sure we did our job and did it thoroughly, so when we are done people are confident we carefully examined the petitions as to whether or not it was sufficient," said the GAB's Kevin Kennedy.
Four Republican state senators face recall elections.
It appears nearly certain that Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Kleefisch will also stand for recall.
Crisp reports that the GAB needs to finish checking for duplicates in Walker and Kleefisch's petitions, they said there would likely be enough valid signatures to force recall elections.
The GAB says they were glad to have recall election son the same day, so taxpayers could save money.
"I think the big win here (is) for taxpayers in the state of Wisconsin," said Joe Olson, an attorney for GOP state Senators.
"We are not spending extra dollars to do elections one after the other after the other."
"We're happy with the deadline because it's a deadline. We now have certainty," explained Jeremy Levinson, an attorney for recall committees.