Eau Claire area political leaders react to Dems' senate win

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email

MADISON/EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU, AP) -- A recount has concluded Democrat John Lehman defeated incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard in last month's state Senate recall races.

An official canvas following the June 5 elections showed Lehman leading Wanggaard by 834 votes out of nearly 72,000 ballots cast in Racine County's 21st Senate District.

A Lehman victory would give Democrats a one-seat majority in the Senate. Wanggaard requested a recount, but final tallies from the Racine County clerk's office Monday showed Lehman with 36,358 votes and Wanggaard with 35,539, a difference of 819 votes.

A Lehman win would hand Democrats a one-seat majority in the Senate. His victory isn't official until the state Government Accountability Board certifies the results and Wanggaard campaign officials have hinted they may challenge the final count in court, but party leaders in Eau Claire agreed, it's time to move on.

I hope Wangaard will accept the decision that's made at the end of the recount, and simply end things there," Eau Claire County Democratic Party spokesperson Beverly Wickstrom said.

"I don't think that continuing to legislate elections is a good thing. The people spoke, he lost," Eau Claire County Republican Party chair Brian Westrate said.

With Democrats gaining power of appointing committee chairs and picking which issues to discuss, senators from both parties disagreed on what impact the results currently have on the state.

"Any victory is a big victory," District 31 Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) said.

"Control now isn't as important as it will be after the Nov. election," District 23 Sen. Terry Moulton (R) said.

"It will stop walker from doing the things he wants to do. He's gotta be held in check somehow," Patrick Eaton of Eau Claire said.

"With Democrats controlling the sen. The governor now has other voices that get to be heard," Jarek Holmes of Eau Claire said.

With more senate seats up for grabs in the Nov. election, voters and party leaders said they hope both sides can end the division brought on by the recall.

"I've always been able to work with the other side of the aisle. I'll continue to do that," Moulton said.

"It's time to move forward, and put election season behind us. And get to the business of our state," Vinehout said.

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  • by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2012 at 07:35 AM
    This is the best possible solution. When either side has all the power they tend to muck it up. I am all for gridlock. Gridlock=compromise
  • by Joe Location: Bloomer on Jul 3, 2012 at 05:03 AM
    When did Moulton ever work with the other side. That's all we heard from him is WE HAVE THE VOTES. So what work was Vineholts suppose to do? No Democrat lost there seat.
  • by kate on Jul 3, 2012 at 04:39 AM
    Why don't we give it a rest now and get on with business.
  • by Sam Location: WI on Jul 3, 2012 at 04:04 AM
    Well it won't be long lived. The Senate don't meet until January. And in Nov, about Half are up for reelection. And yes the people will speak out again, and the R's will have the majority back no doubt about it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2012 at 07:47 AM in reply to Sam
      Depends on the district. No doubt about it.
  • by Rich on Jul 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM
    Where was Vinholt when their was business to be done? She was in Chicago.
    • reply
      by Bob on Jul 3, 2012 at 06:51 AM in reply to Rich
      She was replying to my email questions while my real representative, Terry Moulton, refused to answer my phone calls or email.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2012 at 07:48 AM in reply to Bob
        I had much better luck with reps from other districts also.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2012 at 08:18 AM in reply to Bob
        You must have been part of the elite crew she was responding too. On the other hand, she totally ignored my emails.
  • by Barb Location: Eau Claire on Jul 2, 2012 at 06:49 PM
    Just like I said with the Walker recall. The voters have spoken now we need to move on.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2012 at 07:48 AM in reply to Barb
      Moving on does not mean it will never be spoken of again.
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