Sheila Harsdorf will be the fourth Republican state Senator to face a recall election in Wisconsin this summer, if the signatures filed with a recall petition today get cleared by the Government Accountability Board.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski said a petition will be filed with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on Tuesday. While he didn’t have a total signature count Monday afternoon — signatures were still coming in — Zielinski said the number is well over the 15,744 needed.
“It really was a grassroots effort by home-grown volunteers who were fed up with Sheila Harsdorf and her unholy alliance with Gov. Scott Walker,” Zielinski said of the petition. “This is an amazing feat.”
The Committee to Recall Harsdorf started March 2 in response to Harsdorf’s support of Walker’s budget repair bill, which would eliminate many collective bargaining powers for public employees.
There have been four recall elections triggered in the entire history of Wisconsin. If Harsdorf, Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen and Dan Kapanke’s petitions check out, there will be four recall elections just this year.
Republicans are also trying to gather signatures in a series of recall elections against Democrats, but while they’ve boasted of having enough for at least three recalls, they have not yet submitted any signatures. What’s more, their deadline for filing is a week away. Further Democratic recall efforts have until May 2. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin expects at least six recall elections of Republican state Senators when all is said and done.
In the Daily Kos poll of potential recall elections, Harsdorf had a 43/43 approval/disapproval rating, and led a generic Democratic challenger by only 48-44. So this should be a competitive recall election, especially considering the speed with which recall petitions were signed and delivered. Barack Obama won the swing district near the Minnesota border by 50-48 in 2008. Like all Senate Republicans but one, Harsdorf voted for the anti-union bill that strips collective bargaining rights from public employees.
The DPW expects viable candidates in all the recall elections and has already announced two, state Rep. Jennifer Shilling to go against Kapanke, and 2008 opponent and Oshkosh city Councilwoman Jessica King to go against Hopper.