[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Voters just outside a polling location in Wisconsin Senate District 32. Image by Rochelle, just rochelle; used under a Creative Commons license."][/caption] Republicans put straw candidates in the Democratic recall primary elections yesterday, but the real Democrat overwhelmingly triumphed in every race. Opponents of Gov. Scott Walker's extreme agenda petitioned for six recall elections of Walker's Republican supporters in the Wisconsin Senate, and Republicans circled the wagons by putting up fake Democrats in each recall election. By putting up the straw candidates and forcing primaries, Republicans were able to buy extra time for their own embattled senators on the state's dime - the extra primaries cost the state $475,000. The recall general elections would have otherwise taken place on Tuesday, July 19, but now they will happen in August, giving the national and state GOP and their big business allies time to pour money into each district. Still, with Walker dragging them down with poor poll numbers, and with the labor-backed opposition re-energized with fresh victories and a good practice run on getting out the vote yesterday, the odds are definitely in favor of the challengers in the recall. The stakes are huge - a net switch of three seats in the Senate would give Walker's opponents the majority in the Senate and block his agenda, perhaps permanently. The next general recall election is on Tuesday, July 19, with incumbent Democrat Dave Hansen facing Republican challenger David Vanderleest. General recall elections follow in the other districts on August 9 (Republican incumbents Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, Randy Hopper, and Dan Kapanke) and 16 (Democratic incumbents Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch.)
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