It's Barrett vs. Walker in WI recall election

Rick Moran
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett swept to victory in the Democratic primary and won the opportunity to face incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker in a recall election scheduled for June 5.

Politico:

Barrett defeated former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, the unions' preferred candidate, by a wide margin. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Barrett had 58 percent to Falk's 35 percent. Two other Democratic candidates, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, received 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

On the Republican side, Walker won 97 percent to just 3 percent for activist Arthur Kohl-Riggs.

In other Democratic recall primaries, Madison union leader Mahlon Mitchell won the nomination for lieutenant governor with 51 percent. He'll face incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who did not face a primary opponent.

Barrett, the party's 2010 gubernatorial nominee who lost to Walker by 6 percentage points, carried the support of the state's Democratic political establishment; Falk had the majority of Wisconsin's influential labor unions behind her candidacy.

Barrett held a double-digit lead over Falk and the other Democratic candidates: in a Marquette University Law School poll out last week, Barrett led Falk by 17 points, 38 percent to 21 percent.

Despite his late entry into the race, Barrett held a wide lead in the polls, aided in part by higher name recognition.Falk acknowledged that fact while campaigning in Milwaukee on Monday, saying she has always been the underdog.

"I have been all along because Tom [Barrett] just ran for governor a year ago," she said.

Barrett's victory came despite organized labor's best efforts against him. Most of the state's unions - including the AFL-CIO, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the SEIU and the United Food and Commercial Workers - endorsed Falk.

Overall, labor backed Falk to the tune of about $4 million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The AFL-CIO immediately announced their full support for Barrett which clears the way for a dogfight over the next month as outside money for both sides will pour into the state.

The race is in a dead heat at the moment and is likely to remain close through the election. The contest will almost certainly be determined by which side is able to get their partisans to the polls on election day. Much of the wind has gone out of Democrat's sails as the issue that ignited the recall effort - the collective bargaining reforms for state workers - has largely faded into the background, being replaced by the economy as the number one issue.

Barring some unfortunate gaffe, Walker should win in a close race. He has the better organization and the power of incumbency on his side. But Barrett has proven himself a formidable campaigner and with massive labor support, he has a real shot of pulling off the upset.




Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett swept to victory in the Democratic primary and won the opportunity to face incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker in a recall election scheduled for June 5.

Politico:

Barrett defeated former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, the unions' preferred candidate, by a wide margin. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Barrett had 58 percent to Falk's 35 percent. Two other Democratic candidates, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, received 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

On the Republican side, Walker won 97 percent to just 3 percent for activist Arthur Kohl-Riggs.

In other Democratic recall primaries, Madison union leader Mahlon Mitchell won the nomination for lieutenant governor with 51 percent. He'll face incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who did not face a primary opponent.

Barrett, the party's 2010 gubernatorial nominee who lost to Walker by 6 percentage points, carried the support of the state's Democratic political establishment; Falk had the majority of Wisconsin's influential labor unions behind her candidacy.

Barrett held a double-digit lead over Falk and the other Democratic candidates: in a Marquette University Law School poll out last week, Barrett led Falk by 17 points, 38 percent to 21 percent.

Despite his late entry into the race, Barrett held a wide lead in the polls, aided in part by higher name recognition.Falk acknowledged that fact while campaigning in Milwaukee on Monday, saying she has always been the underdog.

"I have been all along because Tom [Barrett] just ran for governor a year ago," she said.

Barrett's victory came despite organized labor's best efforts against him. Most of the state's unions - including the AFL-CIO, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the SEIU and the United Food and Commercial Workers - endorsed Falk.

Overall, labor backed Falk to the tune of about $4 million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The AFL-CIO immediately announced their full support for Barrett which clears the way for a dogfight over the next month as outside money for both sides will pour into the state.

The race is in a dead heat at the moment and is likely to remain close through the election. The contest will almost certainly be determined by which side is able to get their partisans to the polls on election day. Much of the wind has gone out of Democrat's sails as the issue that ignited the recall effort - the collective bargaining reforms for state workers - has largely faded into the background, being replaced by the economy as the number one issue.

Barring some unfortunate gaffe, Walker should win in a close race. He has the better organization and the power of incumbency on his side. But Barrett has proven himself a formidable campaigner and with massive labor support, he has a real shot of pulling off the upset.