Efforts continue to recall state senators - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Efforts continue to recall state senators

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Recall elections are triggered for three state democrats. One of the democrats on the chopping block is Northwoods senator, Jim Holperin.

Activists gathered more than 21,000 signatures of people who want him out of office. They hand-delivered those names to Madison on Thursday, saying they felt relieved to have this part of the process complete. But Holperin said he won't just sit back while others try to kick him out of his job.

It takes about 16,000 signatures to try to get a state senator out of office. And the group recalling Senator Holperin surpassed that by more than 5,000.

"In the end, the people kept sending in all the signatures and the numbers kept growing and growing and so it feels really good to be here today," said Kim Simac, the petitioner of the recall committee.

Simac said they started collecting signatures about two months ago, around the time the Senate Dems headed for Illinois to avoid voting on the budget repair bill.

"We have serious problems that we're facing here in Wisconsin and removing yourself from the table left all the citizens from the 12th District without a representative," said Simac.

Senator Holperin defends his actions, saying voters across the state needed time to work through what Governor Walker's true plans were.

"It was not just a budget repair bill as everyone now knows," said Holperin. "This was legislation that eliminated important bargaining rights for working people in Wisconsin."

Holperin said he doesn't blame voters for putting democracy to work by trying to recall him, but said he isn't backing down from the post he says he deserves.

"I'm comfortable with that," said Holperin. "We'll wage an active campaign to defend my seat and to talk about my record of accomplishment and hope for the best."

Holperin said the recall election will probably take place sometime in July. Between now and then, Holperin's opponents will need to find someone to run against him.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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