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2011 WISCONSIN SENATE RECALLS
8/17/2011

In a summer that saw millions of dollars spent on nine Senate recall races, just two incumbents -- both Republicans -- lost their seats.

But those two wins were not enough for Democrats to take the majority in the state Senate, although they did narrow what was a 5-vote margin down to a 17-16 Republican majority.

Democrat Dave Hansen was the first to go on the ballot, winning his recall election on July 19.

Then on Aug. 9, Republican Sens. Rob Cowles, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen and Alberta Darling beat back the recall challenges against them. But Democrats were able to defeat two incumbents as Jen Shilling and Jessica King defeated the Republican incumbents they were challenging, Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper, respectively.

One week later incumbent Democratic Sens. Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch both survived the recall attempts against them.

The results mean Republicans will hold the state Senate majority 17-16.

WisPolitics gold and platinum subscribers can click the district titles below to log in and see details on each race, including background on the handicapping ratings.

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HANDICAPPING NOTE: Candidates identified as having an edge were generally considered likely to be almost safe bets to win. Districts with a lean were seen going either way, though one candidate appeared to have an advantage. Toss-up meant too close to call.


DISTRICT 2

Winner: Robert Cowles


WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 5: EDGE TO COWLES
WisPolitics handicap rating from July 15: EDGE TO COWLES
Read more about the ratings


INCUMBENT:
Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay)
Campaign phone: 920-412-7397
Website: http://www.voterobcowles.com

CHALLENGER:
Nancy Nusbaum (D)
Campaign phone: 920-664-6178
Website: http://nancyforsenate.com

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 9
- Primary date: July 12

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Nancy Nusbaum - 65%
- Otto Junkermann* - 35%

*GOP "protest candidate" running as Dem

SD 2 HEADLINES

- NUSBAUM OPTIMISTIC DESPITE UPHILL BATTLE TO UNSEAT COWLES

- On the issues: Cowles and Nusbaum

- Campaign snapshot: Rob Cowles

- Campaign snapshot: Nancy Nusbaum
DISTRICT 8

Winner: Alberta Darling

AUGUST 9 ELECTION RESULTS
- 54% - Alberta Darling
- 46% - Sandy Pasch
WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 5: TOSS-UP
WisPolitics handicap rating from July 15: LEANING TO DARLING
Read more about the ratings


INCUMBENT:
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)
Campaign phone: (414) 897-1913
Website: http://albertadarling.com/

CHALLENGER:
Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay)
Campaign phone: 414-573-0157
Website: http://sandyforsenate.com/

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 9
- Primary date: July 12

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Sandy Pasch - 64%
- Gladys Huber* - 36%

*GOP "protest candidate" running as Dem

SD 8 HEADLINES

- DEMS SEE DARLING AS 'CROWN JEWEL' IN RECALL EFFORTS

- On the issues: Darling and Pasch

- Campaign snapshot: Darling and Pasch on the trail

- Darling, Pasch spar in first joint appearance of 8th SD recall campaign
DISTRICT 10

Winner: Sheila Harsdorf

AUGUST 9 ELECTION RESULTS
- 58% - Sheila Harsdorf
- 42% - Shelly Moore
WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 5: LEANING TO HARSDORF
WisPolitics handicap rating from July 15: LEANING TO HARSDORF
Read more about these ratings


INCUMBENT:
Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls)
Campaign phone: 715-307-8131
Website: http://www.harsdorf.com/

CHALLENGER:
Shelly Moore (D)
Campaign phone: 715-381-9600 (WIsDem regional office)
Website: http://mooreforwisconsin.com/

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 9
- Primary date: July 12

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Shelly Moore - 54%
- Isaac Weix* - 46%

*GOP "protest candidate" running as Dem

SD 10 HEADLINES

- INCUMBENT HARSDORF FACES CHALLENGE FROM HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER MOORE

- On the issues: Harsdorf and Moore
DISTRICT 12

Winner: Jim Holperin

AUGUST 16 ELECTION RESULTS
- 55% - Jim Holperin
- 45% - Kim Simac


WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 12: TOSS-UP
WisPolitics handicap rating as of July 15: TOSS-UP
Read more about the ratings


INCUMBENT:
Jim Holperin (D-Conover)
Campaign phone: 715-891-1412
Website: http://holperinforsenate.com/

CHALLENGER:
Kim Simac (R)
Campaign phone: 715-420-0530
Website: http://www.kimsimacforsenate.com

PRIMARY CANDIDATE:
Lincoln County Board Chair Robert Lussow (R)
Campaign phone: 715-966-0955

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 16
- Primary date: July 19

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Simac - 59%
- Lussow - 41%
SD 12 HEADLINES

- HOLPERIN DEFENDS DEPARTURE FROM STATE AS SIMAC LOOKS TO OVERCOME INEXPERIENCE, NEGATIVE ADS

- District profile: Recall mixes political talk into Northwoods summertime conversation

- Primary preview: Lussow playing catch-up to Holperin recall organizer Simac
DISTRICT 14

Winner: Luther Olsen

AUGUST 9 ELECTION RESULTS
- 52% - Luther Olsen
- 48% - Fred Clark
WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 5: TOSS-UP
WisPolitics handicap rating from July 15: LEANING TO OLSEN
Read more about these ratings


INCUMBENT:
Luther Olsen (R-Ripon)
Campaign phone: 608-320-2822
Website: http://www.lutherolsen.com/

CHALLENGER:
Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo)
Campaign phone: 715-418-9118 or 715-418-9113
Website: http://www.clarkforwisconsin.org/

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 9
- Primary date: July 12

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Fred Clark - 67%

- Rol Church* - 33%

*GOP "protest candidate" running as Dem

SD 14 HEADLINES

- BOTH CANDIDATES DECRY SPECIAL INTEREST SPENDING IN TIGHT 14TH SD RACE

- On the issues: Olsen and Clark

- Campaign snapshots -- Olsen and Clark

- Olsen, Clark talk 14th SD recall on 'UpFront'
DISTRICT 18

Winner: Jessica King

AUGUST 9 ELECTION RESULTS
- 51% - Jessica King
- 49% - Randy Hopper
WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 5: LEANING TO KING
WisPolitics handicap rating as of July 15: LEANING TO KING
Read more about these ratings


INCUMBENT:
Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac)
Campaign phone: 920-602-2758
Website: http://votehopper.com/

CHALLENGER:
Jessica King (D)
Campaign phone: 414-975-0586
Website: http://www.jessicakingforsenate.com

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 9
- Primary date: July 12

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Jessica King - 69%
- John Buckstaff* - 31%

*GOP "protest candidate" running as Dem

SD 18 HEADLINES

- HOPPER FACES KING AGAIN IN REMATCH OF 2008 RACE


- Campaign snapshot: Jessica King

- Hopper, King discuss 18th SD race on 'UpFront'
DISTRICT 22

Winner: Bob Wirch

AUGUST 16 ELECTION RESULTS
- 58% - Bob Wirch
- 42% - Jonathan Steitz


WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 12: EDGE TO WIRCH
WisPolitics handicap rating as of July 15: EDGE TO WIRCH
Read more about the rating


INCUMBENT:
Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie)
Website: http://bobwirch.com/

CHALLENGER:
Jonathan Steitz (R)
Campaign phone: 262-358-8008
Website: http://www.steitzforsenate.com/

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 16
- Primary date: July 19

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Steitz - 64%
- Ekornaas - 36%
SD 22 HEADLINES

INCUMBENT WIRCH FACES CHALLENGE FROM NEWCOMER STEITZ

- On the issues: Wirch and Steitz

- Primary preview: GOP primary to find Wirch foe pits former sheriff vs. attorney in first race
DISTRICT 30

Winner: Dave Hansen

JULY 19 ELECTION RESULTS
- Hansen - 67%
- VanderLeest - 33%

INCUMBENT:
Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay)
Website: http://www.hansenforsenate.com

CHALLENGER:
David VanderLeest (R)
Campaign phone: 920-672-8513
Website: http://vanderleestforsenate.com/

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) - Failed to make it on the ballot
Campaign phone: 715-732-9955 ext. 215
Website: http://www.votejohnnygren.com/

KEY DATES
- General election date: July 19*

*Nygren not appealing GAB-court decision that he didn't have enough valid signatures, so no primary
DISTRICT 32

Winner: Jennifer Shilling

AUGUST 9 ELECTION RESULTS
- 55% - Jennifer Shilling
- 45% - Dan Kapanke
WisPolitics handicap rating as of Aug. 5: EDGE TO SHILLING
WisPolitics handicap rating from July 15: EDGE TO SHILLING
Read more about these ratings


INCUMBENT:
Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse)
Campaign phone: 608-792-9669
Website: http://www.kapankeforsenate.com/

CHALLENGER:
Rep. Jen Shilling (D-La Crosse)
Campaign phone: 608-782-1588
Website: http://www.jennifershilling.com

KEY DATES
- General election date: Aug. 9
- Primary date: July 12

PRIMARY RESULTS:
- Jennifer Shilling - 70%
- James Smith* - 30%

*GOP "protest candidate" running as Dem

SD 32 HEADLINES
- RETAIL CAMPAIGNING STILL A STAPLE FOR SHILLING AND KAPANKE

- On the issues -- Kapanke and Shilling

- Campaign snapshot: Dan Kapanke

- Campaign snapshot: Jen Shilling

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