Weeks after a recount began, results released Monday showed John Lehman, a Democrat, defeating incumbent Republican Van Wanggard in a recall election for Wisconsin's 21st state Senate district.
On June 5, initial election results showed Lehman defeating Wanggaard by 834 votes out of a total of 72,000 ballots cast. Wanggard requested a recount.
Racine County tabulators were tasked with performing the recount. Wanggaard was left with a 15 vote gain, not nearly enough to change the election's outcome. The Government Accountability Board must wait five business days before it can verify the results, according to Wisconsin State Law.
The victory for Lehman means that Democrats will now have a 17-16 majority in the Wisconsin state Senate.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Wanggaard said he would take a few days to consider his next move, hinting that he may file a lawsuit over what he sees as poor organization in Racine County's election administration.
Democrats forced Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Wanggaard and three other GOP senators into recalls earlier this year as payback for supporting Walker's push to strip most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. One of the senators, Pam Galloway of Wausau, resigned rather than defend her seat, creating a 16-16 split between Democrats and Republicans. State election officials chose to allow the election in her district to go on regardless.
Republican Jerry Petrowski ultimately won Galloway's seat and all the other Republicans except Wanggaard easily beat back their challengers. Wanggaard's battle with Lehman was especially bitter; Lehman held the 21st Senate seat until Wanggaard defeated him in 2010.
But Democrats' new majority may not last beyond the Nov. 6 elections, in which 16 Senate seats are up for a vote.
10 more election stories from beyond the presidential field:
- Healthcare Ruling Puts Local Democrats Between A Rock And A Hard Place [Boston Herald]
- Healthy Families Cut By Brown Along With Republican Support [Mercury News]
- Sherman Has Berman On His Heels In Battle For U.S. House Seat [Los Angeles Daily News]
- Smooth Talking Independent Angus King Holds Huge Lead In Maine Senate Race [The New York Times]
- Will Tying Tim Kaine To The President Prove Fruitful For The GOP? [Politico]
- North Dakota Braces Itself For Political Ad Apocalypse [Bismarck Tribune]
- California Bill Seeks To Establish Multiple Parenthood [Sacramento Bee]
- Colorado Lifts Moratorium On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries [Denver Post]
- GOP Runoff Faces Tough Competition From Summer Olympics [Texas Tribune]
- Michigan's Newly Drawn 14th District Up For Grabs, Clarke Is Absent For Debate [Detroit News]