Contact: Rep. Greta Neubauer, (608) 237-9166

Gov. Walker Continues to Obstruct the Special Elections Process, Republicans Plan to Change Law

MADISON – Today, Representative Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) released the following statement regarding Wisconsin’s vacant legislative seats and the upcoming Extraordinary Session on special elections:

“By refusing to call special elections for vacant Senate and Assembly seats, Governor Walker is interfering with Wisconsinites’ right to legislative representation. This is a blatant political power grab by Republicans at the expense of the people of the 1st Senate District and the 42nd Assembly District.

“As a legislator elected just two months ago in a special election, I know how this system is supposed to work. When Sheila Harsdorf resigned last November, Gov. Walker called special elections the very same day. Sixty-seven days elapsed between her resignation and the special election. As of today, the 1st Senate District and the 42nd Assembly District have gone unrepresented for eighty-eight days. Had Gov. Walker called special elections right away, they easily could have had legislators on the floor last week for session when we addressed school safety and gun violence. The good people of the 1st Senate District and the 43rd Assembly District have a right to representation in these discussions.

“Last week, I sat in court and watched a Walker-appointed judge order Gov. Walker to call special elections for the two vacant legislative seats by March 29. Now, Gov. Walker is demanding additional time from the court. Meanwhile, legislative Republicans are calling us back into session to change the law just so Gov. Walker can dodge this order. Gov. Walker is playing games with our election process for political purposes, rather than for the benefit of over 200,000 unrepresented Wisconsinites.

“Governor Walker wants to buy himself time at the expense of the electoral process. This will not stand. Today, we are going back to court. I am submitting additional testimony, this time demonstrating the importance of giving special election candidates a reasonable campaign timeline. Republicans are terrified that the people of Wisconsin might vote against them, and are instead attempting to deprive constituents of their right to legislative representation. We cannot allow over 200,000 Wisconsinites to go unrepresented until 2019. Wisconsinites deserve equal representation — not empty chairs.”

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