Madison, Wis.(WFRV) -- It is an historic day for Wisconsin politics, as Governor Walker becomes the first in state history to face a recall. Today, the Government Accountability Board announced that there were enough valid petition signatures to force a recall. The GAB Director, Kevin Kennedy, called it "unprecedented" in a news conference today announcing the decision.
Now that the daunting task of verifying nearly two million signatures is over, the recalls can proceed. The GAB verified six recall elections for the state's highest office - the governor, as well as lieutenant governor and four Republican senators.
Primaries will be held May 8th and final elections on June 5th.
Neither Governor Scott Walker or Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch filed formal challenges against the signatures. The GAB said it found virtually no fraud---throwing out only about 26,000 signatures of the more than 900-thousand submitted.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says the recall decisions aren't cause for celebration. Says Tate, "This is a very serious day it's not something we ever wanted, its not something we ever sought, this is the recourse available to the people of Wisconsin when their elected officials behave in such an egregious way."
With just 10 weeks to campaign, the focus is on successfully recalling Governor Walker. Tate says Democrats are as motivated today as they've ever been. "I think people are pretty enthusiastic when it comes to replacing Scott Walker."
Four Democratic candidates have already announced plans to challenge Walker. They are Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker in the general election and just announced his candidacy today. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk has been campaigning to replace Walker for weeks, and was the first to announce her campaign. Also running against Walker are Kathleen Vinehout, and Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follete.
Falk, who helped gather recall petition signatures, says it was never a question of 'if' there would be a recall, but when..
Says Falk, "People want a leader who will bring us together they want someone who is open and honest, and they want someone who supports their values."
Falk has declared she will repeal the budget repair bill if elected---which was a main impetus behind the recall efforts. Falk says she's already received the support of several unions. She says she's eager to compare her record to the governors. Falk says not to expect a contentious primary, because Democrats will will work together to successfully recall Walker. If Walker is recalled, he would only be the third governor in history to be successfully recalled.
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