Photo: Wikimedia Commons
In an expected, though delayed, move, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced today that he will run in Wisconsin’s recall election to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Barrett, a Democrat, lost to Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial election, 52 per cent to 47 per cent. In a letter to supporters Friday, he blamed the loss on a “Tea Party wave” and pledged this time to “crisscross the state” to prevail.
“This was not a decision I made lightly. I love this state and I care deeply about our future,” Barrett wrote in his letter to supporters. “That’s why I ran for governor in 2010 — even though I knew it was an uphill battle. We ran a strong and energetic campaign fuelled by your support and the support of thousands across Wisconsin.
“In the end, Russ Feingold and I both fell short in a Tea Party wave. But we can all take pride that we took the fight to Scott Walker, and the past 15 months have shown why that fight is so important.”
It’s been a busy day in Wisconsin recall news. Also on Friday, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board voted 5-0 to order the recall election. While about 540,000 signatures were required for a recall vote, the board certified more than 900,000. It also certified a recall of Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
The recall election will take place on June 5. A Democratic primary will occur on May 8.
The four Democratic candidates for governor: Barrett, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.
“This is accountability in the style of Wisconsin. More than a million strong, we did not want to walk this path — we were brought onto it by Scott Walker and his radical excesses and reckless use of power,” Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Mike Tate said in a statement.
“Wisconsin deserves an honest discussion about her future. Today’s actions ensure that this judgment will now be in the hands of the people.”
No matter how it turns out, the recall election is already a historic one. It is the first recall election in Wisconsin’s history, and Wisconsin voters could become the third state to oust a sitting governor in a recall election. They would join North Dakota all the way back in 1921 (Lynn Frazier) and California’s historic recall election, in which voters replaced Democrat grey Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I’m in. barrettformilwaukee.com/announce
— Tom Barrett (@Barrett4WI) March 30, 2012
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