Republicans retained control of the Wisconsin Senate winning four of the six seats in the Recall Election. Despite the Republican majority, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he believes that voters want more bipartisanship from their elected leaders, AP has reported.
The results were a drawback for Democrats, progressive groups, and organized labor, looking for retribution against the six GOP supporters of Gov. Scott Walker, who passed the 2011 labor law.
The “polarizing union rights” law eliminated most of the public employees’ collective bargaining freedoms and required them to pay more for their pensions and health care.
Walker alleged that the law was needed to help undertake Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion budget shortfall. He said he will “leave it up to the pundits” to decide if the Republican victory will diminish Democratic efforts to recall him. However Walker said the ultimate judge would be how many jobs are constructed in the state, AP has reported.
Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, Luther Olen of Ripon, and Sen. Alberta Darling were the four GOP state senators to retain their seats.
Democrats were able to successfully recall Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke, with Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse and Sen. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac. was defeated by Jessica King, another Democrat.
This election will also determine if Republicans, led by Walker, will regain momentum or suffer greater setback since it took majority control in 2010. Both political parties used these elections to gauge voter response with the 2012 presidential elections in mind because Wisconsin is predicted to be an important swing state.
Millions of dollars from both liberals and conservatives from across the country were invested into the recall elections.
The goal of the Democrats was to take control of three seats so they could become the new Senate majority and to also pave the way for similar budget fights and collective bargaining in other states.
Two Democratic officeholders face recalls on Tuesday, but the Democrats will remain the minority regardless of the outcome of the elections.
Gov. Walker said it does not matter which party is in control, people want lawmakers to work together on creating more jobs and the economy.