More money, more votes? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

More money, more votes?

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Money may not buy you happiness, but it could help you win an election. 

"It can never hurt," said UW Stevens Point political science professor Dennis Riley. "If you've got the money and you've got longer time to campaign and you've got more money, you can wear down your opponent."

By Monday night, candidates for the spring recall election turned in their financial reports for the first part of 2012. Republican Governor Scott Walker made the biggest splash. He's raised more than $15 million this year and continues to break state fundraising records. 

"Every politician wants to have some but there are ways around a lack of money if you've got a strong candidate," said Riley.

So far, none of Walker's potential democratic challengers has broken the million dollar mark. Former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk has raised about $977,000. And Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett has raised more than $800,000 since announcing his candidacy about a month ago. Political experts said the timing of shortened campaigns may not make a big difference.

"You've only got so many contacts and you can make them in a relatively quick sort of way," said Riley.

"I come in and I have eight weeks," said republican state senate candidate Jerry Petrowski. "It's a real effort to do everything. Trying to meet as many voters as I can."

Petrowski announced his bid for state senate about two months ago after State Senator Pam Galloway resigned. In that time, he's raised more than $86,000.

"Putting up signs and knocking on doors and shaking hands and everything else you do during a campaign," said Petrowski.

"It's a very compressed cycle, fast and furious but it just makes us even more energized to be out and about," said democratic state senate candidate Donna Seidel.

Petrowski's likely challenger, Seidel, has collected more than $97,000 since her campaign began in January.

"Very enthused and appreciative about the financial support that has come in to help us," said Seidel.

With five weeks left before the official recall election, the race for money and votes is far from finished.

Before the candidates make it to the recall election, they need to win next week's primary. That's set for next Tuesday.

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