While Democrats suffered a decisive defeat in Tuesday’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall, they may have successfully taken control of the state Senate.
Former state Sen. John Lehman (D) has declared victory over state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine). The AP has not called the race yet, but with all precincts reporting Lehman leads by 779 votes. Wanggaard has not conceded.
Democrats launched recalls against four Republican state senators. They needed one victory to win the upper champer, which is divided 17 to 16. Two Republican incumbents kept their seats and a third won an open seat.
Wanggaard campaign manager Justin Phillips has suggested that a recount is possible. “We owe it to all of Senator Wanggaard’s supporters and the voters of Wisconsin to thoroughly examine the election and its results and act accordingly once we have all of the information,” he said in a late-night statement.
Like the gubernatorial race, this was a rematch:Wanggaard unseated Lehman in 2010.
Should Lehman’s victory hold, it will be largely symbolic. The state legislature is out of session until November, when 16 of the 33 state senators will be up for election. But it caps the recall season that began with a Democratic attempt to flip the state Senate last summer. That recall effort succeeded in unseating two incumbents, but Democrats fell one seat short of control.