Democrats are looking to flip the majority in the state Senate going into the recall elections today by winning at least three of the six districts up for grabs.
In District 10, which stretches from Burnett County south to western Pierce County and includes River Falls and Hudson, veteran State Senator Shelia Harsdorf (R-River Falls) faces competition from Democrat Shelly Moore.
Of the six seats, the districts occupied by Randy Hopper and Luther Olson are considered most contested. Jessica King is hoping to oust Hopper to gain control of the Fond du Lac area district while Rep. Fred Clark is challenging Olson in his central Wisconsin Senate district.
Record-breaking funding has been poured into the recalls by campaign sponsors on both sides of the aisle and by groups based both in Wisconsin and out of state.
Councilmen around the state are expecting a higher than average turnout for the recall elections. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reports Fond du Lac City Clerk Sue Strand predicts a 75 to 80-percent turnout at the polls in her district.
New voting rules in effect
New voting rules are in effect for tomorrow's special recall elections. Make sure to bring a piece of identification with you to the polls, although a picture ID won't be officially required until next spring. The residency requirement is now 28 days instead of 10. Also, early voting at the municipal clerk's office ended last Friday - and will be cut off every Friday before election day. Most of the other rules changes take effect next year under legislation signed by the governor.
More recall elections set for next week
Two State Senate recalls will be held next Tuesday. Funds raised for the recall election scheduled against Democratic state Senator Jim Holperin of Conover were reported Monday by the Government Accountability Board.
The board reports Holperin and his Republican challenger Kim Simac have combined spending of around $500,000. Holperin reportedly raised nearly that amount himself and spent $319,000 of it. Simac raised $221,000 and spent $171,000.
The amount of attention given to the two candidates 14th district race will be determined after today's recall elections of six Republicans.
No talk of lame duck session yet
A spokesman for Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said there has been no talk about calling a lame duck session if the recall elections swing the power to Democrats.
To this point, the spokesman said, the possibility has not been discussed at all. If Democrats do take control, those talks could commence.
Democrats need to win five seats in the recall elections to take over in the Senate. Right now, Republicans say they are focused on winning the six recall elections today and the two next week. Barring recounts, the election results have to be certified within 15 days of the election.
Senators engage in Common Ground Tour
Democratic Senator Tim Cullen of Janesville is showing Republican Senator Dale Schulz of Richland Center around his district today as part of the pair's Common Ground Tour. The senators are working to promote bipartisanship by visiting each other's districts and hearing from voters in each. In July Cullen went to Schulz district to meet with constituents.