MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is already campaigning to keep his job even though he may not face a recall vote until next summer.

A coalition of groups including the Democratic Party and organized labor are now circulating recall petitions against Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

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Walker is running television advertising defending his record during his 11 months in office and Republican volunteers will soon begin door-to-door and telephone phone campaigning.

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The Walker recall effort will be one of the most fiercely contested races in the 2012 national campaign and will serve as a gauge of the public’s support for the measures used by new Republican governors to balance state budgets.

About 540,000 valid signatures must be submitted by Jan. 17 to trigger the recall election.

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