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Lehman Declares Victory in Recall

At 2 a.m., Racine County posted full results online, supporting former Sen. John Lehman victory declaration at his election night party. Sen. Van Wanggaard, who was facing recall, sent everyone home an hour before Lehman's announcement.

Former Sen. John Lehman was the only Democrat on the recall ballots to declare victory. 

At 12:53 a.m., he dedicated his victory to all the hard work and hours of service from volunteers who led the recall efforts in the 21st Senate District, where they went after Sen. Van Wanggaard, who had defeated Lehman in November 2010. 

Lehman's closing remarks weren't all that different from the first time he spoke to supporters after his arrival around 9:30 pm at the Racine Labor Center.

"You worked so hard in the best interest of Wisconsin and for Racine County, not just for yourselves," he said. "Let's all take a little breather, take a little time with our families, who have supported us in our efforts, but then let's come back strong for the November elections."

The final vote totals were posted after 1:30 a.m., and by 2 a.m., district-wide unofficial results stood at:

  • Wanggaard: 35,476
  • Lehman: 36,255

This win gives Democrats control of the State Senate. Four state senators were under recall, and Wanggaard was the only one to not hang on to his seat. Still, the balance in both houses of the legislature could shift again this fall. Of the 33 senate seats, 16 are up for re-election and all 99 in the Assembly are up for grabs.

These results remain unofficial until they are certified.

About an hour before Lehman declared victory, Sen. Van Wanggaard told his supporters they could go home and that they would decide what their options were in the morning. 

"The numbers are so close," Wanggaard said. "We don't really know where we're at."

Lehman said he's not surprised by his opponent's reaction.

"I can see why he'd do that," he said. "The race comes down to less than 1,000 votes."

A group of about 50 supporters stuck it out until the end, crowding Lehman as he delivered the news. Loud cheer went up and people waved their "Lehman for Senate" signs, forming a circle around their candidate and the media.

"This wasn't an easy victory," he said. "But I'm excited about the new majority and getting back to an atmosphere of reasonableness that's been missing in Madison."

Lehman said he knew the balance of the legislature rode on this race, but always felt the Democrats had the best chance of winning of all the four senate recall races.

"Early polling numbers supported our chances here, and it turns out they were right," he added.

As for what Lehman plans to do tomorrow, he said he'll probably sleep in a bit and then ride around the 21st District to pick up yard signs.

"It feels good to win," he said. "It feels good to be done with the campaign."

dee50 June 06, 2012 at 09:10 PM
@ William You are a very wise man!
dee50 June 06, 2012 at 09:11 PM
@Pappadave, You are hopeless........
dee50 June 06, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Republican's hero see below: Norquist Tells GOP That Raising Taxes On The Middle Class Doesn’t Count As A Tax Increase http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/12/01/380129/norquist-gop-middle-class-ta/
dee50 June 06, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Kreklow was Fiscal & Budget Administrator working with Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive. He also was the author of the 2010 and 2011 budget. When crunching the numbers for Walker for the Wisconsin budget, Kreklow admitted that the deficit was only one third the number of what Walker has been reporting. http://scottwalkerwatch.com/2012/02/01/guide-to-the-main-players-in-the-expanding-fbi-walkergate-john-doe-investigation/
William Eib June 06, 2012 at 10:07 PM
The People of Wisconsin were snookered, they voted against their own self interest. They were driven by an ideological emotion of dislike of Liberals, Unions and school teachers, not the issues
William Eib June 06, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Walker may end up resigning once the criminal case against him becomes public and he loses and ends up in jail. Or he could be impeached. One way or the other Wisconsin has to shake it self loose from being a Koch Brothers Civics Experiment.
James R Hoffa June 06, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Why do you have such a low opinion of Wisconsinites? Why do you apparently dislike conservatives? Just because the majority of us don't think like you do or choose to believe in conspiracy theories premised on little more than blind assumption, supposition, speculation, and conjecture? I don't hate liberals, unions, or school teachers. What I do hate is irresponsible stewardship of the public funds/trust and the acceptance and complacency with inefficient and ineffective government. What I don't get is why you don't get that? Why don't you try expanding your horizons beyond MSNBC and the Daily Kos!
James R Hoffa June 06, 2012 at 10:26 PM
We LOVE our GUV here - wasn't that made clear to you and the other lefties last night?
James R Hoffa June 06, 2012 at 10:29 PM
@dee50 - Did you not get the memo? The election is over - WALKER won!!!! Quit drinking the koolaid and start thinking for yourself.
dee50 June 06, 2012 at 11:04 PM
@William Exactly........ @Hoffa have you ever tried doing REAL research except relying on the likes of Faux and Rush......
dee50 June 06, 2012 at 11:08 PM
@Chris You are in complete DENIAL of FACTS!
dee50 June 06, 2012 at 11:10 PM
@Hoffa you wrote "We LOVE our GUV here" So you love a PROVEN LIAR...........You should be so proud!
William Eib June 06, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Hoffa: It didn't look a bit like love, it looked more like hate for the opposition. And the Koch Brothers Big Money stirred that hate to a boil. No love, Hate. You made a hate vote.
William Eib June 07, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Hoffa: Dee50 isn't pissed about Walker having an election bought for him, she shares with other people the shame of how cheap Wisconsin was bought for. The Right Wing knows where the hate votes are and know how to get them out. No one voted for Walker they voted against who Big Money told them to vote against. Your votes came cheap. When is the Deed transfer ceremony? Will the Koch's have the balls to show up in person to accept the deed. Hoffa you sold out your state. You know live in the first state in the Nation to be bought by 2 Billionaires. Hope you like your new landlords. The rent is going up my friend. I hope you don't have kids and grandkids. Guarantee ya, they move out of Wisconsin the first chance they get. Right to Work, if you will work for less and no health benefits or pensions. That's the booby prize your vote is getting the next generation.
dee50 June 07, 2012 at 01:54 AM
The GOP pulled off the biggest bait and switch in history. The reason for the economic collapse: banks and Wall Street They were able to change the "narrative", and now millions of voters blame government and unions for our economic troubles. And they want to "de-regulate" not "regulate" banks and Wall Street so that they can do it all over again.
James R Hoffa June 07, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Here are undisputed FACTS: Have the Koch Bros or Hendricks ever visited the Governor's mansion or executive office within the Capitol since Walker took office? Answer: NO Did the state of Wisconsin write the Koch's, Hendricks, and/or their respective direct interests a check since Walker took office? Answer: NO Did high dollar campaign bundlers visit the White House since Obama took office? Answer: YES Did the US Federal Government write a check to Obama's campaign bundlers and/or their direct interests? Answer: YES And yet, Walker is the sell-out to big money while Obama is the people's champion. HYPOCRITES - All of you on the left! Wake up and start THINKING!!!
dee50 June 07, 2012 at 02:02 AM
@Hoffa So, you know this to be true about Walker and how? And besides we all already know the the Koch brothers have those twice a year undisclosed meetings with the Cons....
dee50 June 07, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/
dee50 June 07, 2012 at 02:05 AM
National Mortgage Settlement: Some States Using Mortgage Deal Funds To Close Budget Gaps “In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker and state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen have announced plans to use $25.6 million of the settlement money – “ I thought Scotty didn’t need the money, just a while ago he was saying he had balanced the budget after firing all those teachers…Say again Scotty? They are stealing from the homeowners……Pathetic!
Keith Best June 07, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Lehman will serve out the remaining time in the senate. He will lose the next election. Meanwhile, Democrats will be in control of the senate WHILE it is out of session. The Republicans will take back control of the senate in November and be ready when the next session starts. That's the facts Jack!
Jeff Ensinger June 07, 2012 at 02:46 PM
NO!!! (From Peoria IL) I've stayed out of this but we were hoping you would take Chicago. IL would be fine w/o Chicago
William Eib June 07, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Keith Best: A government that takes care of everything your need and want. Whereas a Liberal wants better education, the right wants cheaper education, where the Liberal wants fair wages, the right wants a business to pay what they wish. Where the Liberals want healthcare for all, the Right wants health care for those who can afford it. Where Liberals want affordable higher education, the right declares college isn't necessary for everyone. Do you see the pattern here? Always about money. Money, Money Money. A commodity which is becoming scarcer and scarcer for the middle and working classes and abundantly easy for the already wealthy to attain. Look at how much money saved Walkers job, and wait until November the numbers will boggle the mind with the amounts of money that will be spent to get back the deed of Wisconsin back to the Koch Brothers Money, Money , Money. Greed and unchristian selfishness. Right to Work, that's the door prize you will get for selling out you state and it's citizens. Low wages, no benefits, no sick leave, no weekends off. Check out Texas and Oklahoma. Yeah the brag about lower unemployment. But the Middle class is practically gone. The tax base has shrunk, government services are declining. That's what Wisconsin is in store for when you hand over the deed to the state to the Koch Brothers.
William Eib June 07, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Hoff: What's your point. Did Walker enact the plans to kill collective bargaining, Yes! Did Walker state to a women who paid no taxes that before Right to Work, he was going to get rid of collective bargaining first. Yes? Did Walker run all over the United States as no Governor ever has putting up for bids the future of Wisconsin. So I take it that this point you are trying to make says selling out Wisconsin to the highest bidder ti just dandy with you. And we should sit by while GOP led states enact legislation that the Koch's and their ilk demands. If the Koch's can buy back the state of Wisconsin for the GOP, you are looking at a decline in public services, Right to Work, and may I suggest Texas and Oklahoma as RIght to WOrk states. Low wage jobs, no benefits, no overtime, no weekends off, no sick leave, no vacation pay, one week vacation at best. No raises. That's your new Wisconsin. Laugh if you want to but, you shall see.
William Eib June 07, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The Ko0ch's hit a slight bump they will be back in NOvember to reclaim the deed to WIsconsin. They had found a state government that ws silling to try an experiment. To see if the Uninls could be crushed. Make Wisconsin a labaratory for the Right's vision for America. Right to Work, low paying jobs with no benefits. Health care if you can afford it, cheapest education sysytem in the country , make the teacher profession so unattractive, there will be no one left to teach except those hired to work in the charter schools owned by Koch Industries or some friends of Koch Industries. They are Oligarchs and Social Darwinists, they think they can manage people and governments the way they manage businesses. It does not work, The USSR failed, the National Socialist Party failed. There is always going to be resistance to that kind of government and the resisters have to be dealt with, privatized prisons should be able to deal with that problem. That's the future of Wisconsin and the USA, if the Oligarchs get their way, and Wisconsin is their first success story and they will fight on to get Wisconsin back.
Frances Martin June 07, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Conservatives profess to want deregulation, lower taxes,especially of the upper level wage earners, less to public education, with subsidies to private education,access to good education then becomes limited to the very rich, less access of ordinary people to courts("tort reform", repeal or limit equal pay for equal work legislation). If you read any of Charles Dickens novels about London in the mid 1800s, you'll see where that's headed--worse air quality,cholera and other waterborne diseases,("deregulation") no medical care for the poor("lower taxes"), terrible poverty, country ruled by a miniscule number of extremely rich people to their benefit, political corruption,(Citizens United 's "corporations are people who can give unlimited and secret donations because they have free speech), I'm probably too old to live to see the worst of it, but it's a pretty dismal picture(except those who are in the upper echelons of money and power). Read Oliver Twist .
William Eib June 07, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Wisconsin is the future the Oligarchs are banking on, a Governor and legisalture than can control, via the Koch's confabs and the Alec confrences, form which the devided and conquer method of Walker coam from. They need to get rid of any recourse and employee may have to earn a raise or beneifits. They want every last penny they can get out of the eoconomy, and the Liberasl and Unions stnd in their way. So they have discovered buying individuals states and get done what they want on a stale level it will eventually lead to the federal government. They did not anticipate a recall election, and it cost them dearly to save Walker a former corrupt lower level pol for whom they bought the Governor's seat in exchange for taking on the unions. Strange he never mentioned unions in his campaign but it was the first think on his agenda, or should I say the Koch/ALEC agenda.
dee50 June 08, 2012 at 01:24 AM
@Keith you wrote "The Republicans will take back control of the senate in November" What makes you so darn sure?.......Oh yeah, that's right all that Koch $ with those 20 second commercials that scatters the brains of those that do NO research of what they hear. Their masters have spoken!
William Eib June 08, 2012 at 04:53 AM
With all of the money that is going to pour into Wisconsin, Wisconsinites are going to think they are a country not state. The Koch's and Karl Rove are going to inundate the state with so many commercial the regulator broadcasting will begin looking like commercial breaks. This November is going to be the most embarrassing news item world wide, an embarrassing show of the obscene wealth in the hands of a few people is going to determine the future of the United States of America. It will effect the world economy, diplomacy, trade and everything else with world events. The signal the Right Wing sends to the world will but countries on the edges of their seats, waiting for war with Iran, surging oil prices and the increase of prices in goods due to the surge in oil prices. If the Right prevails the USA will act like a bunch of thugs who will walk extremely loudly and carry and enormous stick, although that stick has been exposed as weak by the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. I ran will be a major mistake if we attack it. It will destroy the economies of the Western World along with our own. Where is the money coming from? The narrow ideology of the right and the extremely narrow ideology of the uber wealthy are a major disaster knocking at the door of Democracy in the USA. They wish to starve people out of poverty and suck every last dime out of the economy. None of which will help the middle and working classes of America.
James R Hoffa June 08, 2012 at 05:11 AM
The over-the-top doom and gloom propaganda and rhetoric didn't help your side at all in the recall election. Why do you think it'll work for the November elections? Give it up already and get ready to move FORWARD with WALKER!!!
Keith Best June 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Yeah, Kloppenburg prematurely declared victory as well, and look how that worked out.

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