Walker, Barrett face off in recallMADISON, Wis. — Voters say it’s time for a rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON, Wis. — Voters say it’s time for a rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker easily defeated token opposition in a GOP primary in a recall election that has become a nationally watched battle over union rights.
And Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett took an early lead in the Democratic primary where he faced off against former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, and Secretary of State Doug La Follette.
Preliminary results from Tuesday’s primary show Walker beat protester Arthur Kohl-Riggs with 97 percent of the vote.
Kohl-Riggs ran as a Republican, even though he has protested against Walker and his initiatives for months. Kohl-Riggs says he was running as a progressive Republican in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln.
Kohl-Riggs had no money and even less name recognition, while Walker is a national conservative hero who is shattering fundraising records as he fights to keep his job.
With more than half the precincts reporting Tuesday, Barrett had a solid 55 percent of the vote in the four-way race.
In Douglas County, with 23 of 26 precincts reporting at press time, Barrett carried 66 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary to former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk’s 25 percent.
Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk was next at 37 percent. State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout had 4 percent and Secretary of State Doug La Follette had 3 percent.
Shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday, La Follette issued a written statement: “Today, is only the first step of returning our state to the progressive traditions we hold dear.
I want to congratulate Mayor Barrett for his fine victory tonight. While I am disappointed that I will not be the one to make the case that there is a better way forward for Wisconsin, I know Mayor Barrett is committed to bringing Wisconsin together,” La Follette stated.
Falk, issued the following statement shortly before 9:30 p.m.
“I congratulate Tom Barrett on his victory tonight. Tomorrow, I will join Tom and the other candidates in this primary to renew our commitment to taking our government back.
“The next four weeks may be the most important in our state’s history. And each one of you has an important role to play.”
The winner will advance to face Republican Gov. Scott Walker in just four weeks.
The general election is June 5.
Walker is only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall election.
Firefighter Mahlon Mitchell of Fitchburg, Wis., will run with Barrett after defeating opponents for lieutenant governor. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is also facing a recall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.