What does your vote in the recall elections really mean? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

What does your vote in the recall elections really mean?


Voters in our area will head to the polls this week to start a historic election process. Including, finding out who will face republican Governor Scott Walker in the general recall election in June.

But, candidates will also be on the ballot closer to our area. The 29th State Senate district is one of several recall races around our state, and experts say now more than ever your vote will make a difference.

Recall elections have been around in Wisconsin since 1926. But, they've hardly ever been used.

"It's quite rare. I think nationally kinds of numbers we've seen for state senate recall elections around the country is less than 25," Director of Wisconsin Institute of Public Policy and Service, Eric Giordano said.

But, this year is anything but ordinary. 

"We have never seen this kind of political maelstrom before," Giordano said. 

From Governor Scott walker, to the Lieutenant Governor, to four state senators, Wisconsin republicans face numerous recall elections. One of them is right here in our area.

"All eyes are on Wisconsin," Giordano comments.

 In January, petitioners began collecting signatures to force 29th District State Senator Pam Galloway into a recall election. But, just two months later Galloway announced she was resigning due to family issues.

"I've been able to advance legislation that I'm proud to say has been in the best interest of so many people," Seidel said.

But, her likely opponent, Republican State Representative Jerry Petrowski says he has the political background to make a difference.

"Being a legislator isn't about voting yes or no on a certain bill, it is about helping people in the community," Petrowski said.

Both candidates are running on what they believe is the number one issue: jobs."Our hardest working families, our public schools need to get what they need so that we can, in fact, be ready for a growing economy with a skilled workforce," Seidel said.

And Petrowski answered back. "We cannot lose any more jobs. We need businesses that are already here and want to expand, expand right here and grow our economy locally."

A common theme in politics. But in the end, voters will decide who they think can deliver. And in this highly charged political arena, every vote counts.

"I do have a father in law who had open heart surgery and a stroke. And a brother with a chronic debilitating condition for which I have been his caretaker for several years," Galloway explained.

Galloway's resignation made the state senate evenly split, 16 democrats and 16 republicans. With no clear majority, experts say every vote will count.

"If the Democrats were to gain one seat and control the senate it would be able to stop any legislation that wouldn't otherwise be bi-partisan from passing," Giordano explains. 

Now, after months of campaigning, voters head to the polls Tuesday. State Representative Donna Seidel will face James Buckley in the democratic primary.

Buckley admits he is not even a Democrat. And, many expect Seidel to win easily. IF she does, she'll move on to the general election June 5th, where voters would have a choice between two longtime politicians.

"I believe I can make a very important contribution," Rep. Seidel said.

Seidel has been representing the 85th assembly district for the past eight years, and she says she's the best candidate for state senate.

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