Results of 21st Senate District Will Be Official Tuesday
The Racine County Clerk's office will conduct its board of canvass Tuesday. Once they're finished, we'll know the official winner of the June 5 recall election between Sen. Van Wanggaard and presumed Senate-elect John Lehman.
In about 24 hours residents of the 21st Senate District will know whether or not the results from June 5 will hold.
The historic Wisconsin recall elections kept Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and two Republican state senators in office. Sen. Pam Galloway was also under recall, but she resigned because of family health issues. Rep. Jerry Petrowski (R-Stettin) went up against fellow Republican Rep. Donna Seidel (R-Wausau) for Galloway's seat and won.
Here in the 21st, though, the unofficial results put former Sen. John Lehman ahead of Sen. Van Wanggaard, who was trying to fend off the recall effort against him.
Margin-of-victory for Lehman is narrow. By the end of the night - Wednesday morning, really - only 779 votes separated the two. State Democrats rejoiced because Lehman's win tips the balance of power in the state Senate to the Democrats by one seat, 17-16, even though the Legislature is not in session until January.
On election night Lehman claimed victory, saying he was confident the results would hold. Wanggaard said he thought the race was too close to call. On Wednesday, Wanggaard's campaign sent out a statement saying he was going to wait out the county's board of canvass before making any decisions about a potential recount.
Recounts are not automatic; a candidate must request a recount, but that person is responsible for the costs if the vote difference is more than one-half of one percent. At almost 800 votes, Wanggaard would be charged the cost of a recount if he requests one because there's a little more than 1 percent separating his vote total from Lehman's.
According to Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen, there were 581 outstanding ballots throughout the 21st Senate District with no way to predict how many of those would come in on time. Voters had to have their absentee ballot postmarked by June 5 and to their community's clerk by 4pm Friday.