Wanggaard excited about recount; Lehman confident recall victory will stand
WTMJ News Team
Lacey Crisp reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
RACINE- Republican State Senator Wanggaard lost to John Lehman by about 800 votes in the recall election on Tuesday, June 5, but the Republican has asked for a recount.
The balance of power in the state Senate is at stake.
Starting on Wednesday, workers will start pouring over the ballots.
Wanggaard says he wants the recount to make sure there is integrity in the process. Smiling and relaxed, Senator Van Wanggaard spoke out for the first time since election night. "Having had hundreds of individuals that I've been in contact over the past week -- I think (they) encouraged me to do this recount," said Wanggaard.
"Now with the recount we'll be able to compare each specific ward and how they actually counted," said Senator Van Wanggaard. "There's been some questions, quite honestly about the validity of some of the counts."
Right now 834 votes separate Wanggaard and his Democratic challenger and former Senator, John Lehman. "We're very confident that the 800 plus votes that we had both unofficially and in the canvass will hold up," said Lehman.
Lehman contends the election was fair and there was no fraud. "Anyone can make accusations. Anyone can go dumpster diving a week later and come up with something," said Lehman. "It's unfortunate that his last political act is going to cost the Racine taxpayers a lot of money."
As for voters, just like in this 50-50 district, they are split on the thought of a recount.
"Good. I voted for him (Van Wanggaard), and so naturally I would think it's a good thing," said Lorraine Cox.
But to Kathleen Hesse, she wonders when this whole election cycle will be over.
Wanggaard says he wouldn't ask for a recount if he didn't think there is a chance it could change the outcome.
If the results aren't overturned, Senate Democrats would have a 17-16 majority over Senate Republicans.