Barring legal delays, at least nine special recall elections could be held this summer -- an unprecedented political happening in a turbulent political year.
Republicans hold a 19-14 majority in the state Senate now, so Democrats would have to net three seats to take back control of the chamber.
So far none of the special recall elections is officially set. But if signatures are validated, the Government Accountability Board is hoping to schedule eight of the elections on July 12 -- over the objections of state Democrats. Scheduling of the ninth, involving GOP Sen. Rob Cowles of Green Bay, is up in the air. Six of the nine pending recall elections target incumbent Republicans.
Petition deadlines for two Democratic senators, Mark Miller of Monona and Julie Lassa of Stevens Point, were still pending as of the May 3 writing of this round-up.
Here's a list of the potential recalls, with the most advanced campaigns listed first:
- Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, to be challenged by Rep. Jen Shilling, D-La Crosse.
- Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac, to be challenged by Oshkosh Ald. Jessica King.
- Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, to be challenged by Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo.
- Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, to be challenged by Ellsworth teacher Shelly Moore.
- And Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, who so far has is being challenged by Brown County Board Vice Chair Mary Scray.
- Petition signatures also have been filed against GOP Sen. Albert Darling of River Hills, GOP Sen. Rob Cowles of Green Bay, Dem Sen. Bob Wirch of Pleasant Prairie and Dem Sen. Jim Holperin of Conover.
Efforts to recall GOP Sens. Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Mary Lazich of New Berlin have fallen short as well as efforts against Dems Spencer Coggs of Milwaukee, Fred Risser of Madison and Lena Taylor of Milwaukee.
The local effort to recall Mark Miller, D-Monona, missed its deadline to file signatures, but a Utah-based group has until May 5 to file recall petitions against the Senate minority leader. That group, however, has largely not worked with local organizers and hasn't filed petitions in any of the recalls it initiated.
The last remaining active recall effort is the one targeting Dem Julie Lassa of Stevens Point. Opponents face a May 16 deadline in their effort.