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Democrats win Wisconsin recall primaries

at 11:35 PM ET, 07/12/2011

All six Wisconsin Democrats won their recall primaries today, easily fending off challenges from “protest” candidates put forward by Republicans to delay the general elections.

All six official Democrats have been projected as winners by the Associated Press. Only one race was at all close, the one between schoolteacher Shelly Moore (D) and 2010 Republican Assembly candidate Issac Weix in the primary to take on Sen. Sheila Harsdorf. Every other Democrat is projected to win by double-digits.

After recall elections were triggered against six Republican state senators over the state’s contentious collective bargaining law, Republicans launched “protest” candidates in each primary to give their incumbents more time to campaign. The general elections were pushed back from today to Aug. 9.

“The voters of Wisconsin have rejected the Republicans’ dirty tricks, despite their best efforts to turn out voters in these primaries for fake candidates,” said Democratic Party spokeswoman Gillian Morris.

In the race to take on Sen. Robert Cowles, former Brown County executive Nancy Nusbaum defeated retired GOP assemblyman Otto Junkerman. In the race to take on Sen. Alberta Darling, state Rep. Sandy Pasch (D) defeated Gladys Huber. In the race to take on Sen. Dan Kapanke, state Rep. Jennifer Schilling defeated young Republican activist James Smith. In the race to take on Sen. Randy Hopper, Deputy Oshkosh Mayor Jessica King (D) defeated retiree John Buckstaff. In the race to take on Sen. Luther Olsen, state Rep. Fred Clark (D) defeated Rollin Church.

Several Republican candidates and local parties were at least hoping for an upset. Wisconsin has open primaries, so it was possible for Republicans to vote for the “protest” candidates in these races. But the state GOP maintained from the outset of the recalls that the only purpose of the “protest” challenges was to delay — not prevent — a race.

“Now that self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives have set $500,000 of taxpayer money on fire in fake primaries that served no purpose beyond their ‘do-anything’ quest to maintain power, voters will have a chance to put the brakes on Scott Walker and his extreme agenda in legitimate elections on August 9th,” said Kelly Steele, a spokesman for the pro-union PAC We Are Wisconsin, in a statement.

Three Democratic state senators also face recalls this summer. Next Tuesday is the general election against state Sen. Dave Hansen (D) and Republican primaries to take on Democratic state Sens. Robert Wirch and Dave Hansen. If Democrats net three wins, they will take back the state Senate.

 
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