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Candidates File For Wis. Recall Elections

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MADISON, Wis. (WCCO) — If you’ve been watching television recently, you may have seen ads about a special state senate recall election in Wisconsin.

The ad is for a recall election scheduled for July 12 if there is no primary, and Aug. 9 if there is a primary. The district is Wisconsin Senate district 11110, which includes, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. WCCO-TV learned late Tuesday afternoon that as many as 16 candidate have filed, which will cause a primary election on July 12. A recall election will take place Aug. 9.

It’s all part of the fall out from the Republican sweep in the November elections that propelled Scott Walker into the Governor’s seat and put Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate.

Because veteran Republican Senator Sheila Harsdorf backed Walker’s controversial budget voters got enough signatures for a recall election.

In the district anger is everywhere. Senator Harsdorf’s supporters were outraged that she could be on the verge of being fired for what the see as doing her job. And challenger Shelly Moore’s supporters said they are fighting to take their state back.

A special interest group backing Sen. Harsdorf had made a large media buy on Twin Cities television stations featuring an ad portraying challenger Moore as an extremist. But in a cramped River Falls campaign office, Moore supporters said it is newly elected Governor Scott Walker who is the extremist.

“It’s the Walker thing that gets to me,” said Lissa List. “It’s this single-mindedness of what they are doing down in Madison we need to send a strong message.”

But at Harsdorf headquarters in Hudson, Wis., Ross Goeret picked up the largest Harsdorf sign he could get. He said the recall effort is unfair.

“People are fed up with the big budgets and the spending and Sheila is on our side on that ,” Goeret said.

The unusual move of a major ad buy for a state Senate race shows the importance of this race and the concern both sides have of how many voters will go to the polls in the middle of summer.

“Turnout in the Wisconsin elections will determine who wins the ads, which are the main booster engines to drive turn out,” said Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute.

The large ad buy is also clearly an effort to drive up turnout. The end of the business day Tuesday was the deadline for filing for the primary, and as many as 16 candidates have filed. A primary election is set for July 12, with a general election to follow Aug. 9.

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