Gov. Walker will schedule special elections for June 12

Gov. Walker will schedule special elections for June 12

Gov. Walker will schedule special elections for June 12

Thursday Governor Walker reluctantly scheduled special elections to fill two legislative seats that have been subjects of a court battle.

The bill Walker and Republicans are rushing through the Legislature would remove the requirement in current law that the governor promptly call special elections when vacancies occur in the Legislature. In January, the Democrat Patty Schachtner defeated the Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow in a special election for an open seat in a deeply red state Senate district in northwest Wisconsin. Reilly issued the one-page ruling hours after the DOJ appealed two Dane County judges' decisions ordering Walker to call the special elections.

"Representative government and the election of our representatives are never 'unnecessary, ' never a 'waste of taxpayer resources, ' and the calling of the special elections are. his 'obligation, '" Presiding Judge Paul F. Reilly wrote.

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess ruled against the Governor. A Madison judge last week ordered him to order the special elections by noon Thursday. "Walker's refusal to do his job", Holder said in a statement after the appeals court ruling on Wednesday.

When residents of the unrepresented state Assembly and Senate districts raised legal and constitutional concerns about the governor's failure to respect state statutes that require legislative vacancies to be filled with prompt special elections, and when a legal team organized by former US Attorney General Eric Holder took their case into the courts, Walker refused to bend.

Even if Republicans were to lose these seats - which is hardly a given - they would still hold an 18-15 majority in the Wisconsin Senate and a 63-36 majority in the Wisconsin Assembly. The Senate is returning on April 4 to vote on a bill that would prohibit any special legislative elections this year.

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"A D.C. -based special interest group is forcing taxpayers to pay for special elections for seats that will be filled again in just a few short months", she said. This year's spring election is Tuesday, and the Legislature plans to convene Wednesday to pass the bill.

The bill being pushed by GOP leaders stated that it would apply retroactively, "notwithstanding any other law, court order, or order of the governor". Spokesman Reid Magney said the commission stopped tracking costs previous year after commissioners discontinued the practice because state law doesn't require it to do so. Walker argues that would make the lawsuit moot and negate the need for calling special elections.

Chair of the Door County Democratic Party Kathleen Finnerty says already the Senate has called multiple special sessions where residents of District 1 have had no representation. Frank Lasee of De Pere and Republican state Rep. Keith Ripp of Lodi.

Walker went back to court to ask for more time to postpone holding the elections, but two different courts ruled he was constitutionally required to schedule them. Walker called the Democratic victory a "wake up call" for Republicans.

Circulation of nomination papers for candidates can begin March 29 and nomination papers must be filed no later than 5 p.m. April 17.

The special elections will now be held on June 12.

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