Wisconsin Democrats will file their third recall petition against a Republican state Senator today. The woman who initially filed the recall against Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) will return over 23,000 signatures to the Government Accountability Board today. If successful, Olsen will join Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper, who have had recall petitions filed against them with the proper amount of signatures. The Kapanke and Hopper signatures are currently under review at the GAB.
While conservative activists have hinted that they have achieved enough signatures to recall Democratic members of the Senate, they have yet to file any petitions with the GAB. Democrats have now filed three, and they started their efforts a bit later than Republicans.
So far, Democrats have found solid challengers to both Kapanke and Hopper. State Rep. Jennifer Shilling will challenge Kapanke, and Oshkosh Deputy Mayor Jessica King will challenge Hopper. King lost in 2008 to Hopper less than 200 votes. The solid recruitment by Wisconsin Democrats in those races is another sign that the recall movement has some momentum behind it.
In one of the few early polls of a potential recall election, Olsen trailed a generic challenger by 49-47 and had a -10 approval rating (32/42) in the district. Barack Obama took Olsen’s swing district in 2008 by a 52-47 margin.
On April 1, Mike Tate, the head of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, told me that he expected petitions to be filed in at least 6 of the 8 Republican Senate seats eligible for recall. Looks like we’re at three, with a few weeks left to go to get petitions signed.
UPDATE: A fourth recall, against GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, may be close to getting filed, reports Chris Bowers.