Gov. Scott Walker this morning ordered special elections June 12 to fill vacancies in the 1st SD and 42nd AD.
If necessary, the primary would be May 15. Nomination papers can begin circulating today with an April 17 deadline to turn them in.
Walker’s order comes after several legal attempts to put off calling the special elections fell short. A Dane County judge last week set a deadline of today for Walker to issue the order. The state Department of Justice then filed an emergency motion late Monday night asking a Dane County judge to postpone the deadline. After Judge Richard Niess denied the motion Tuesday, the DOJ went to the 2nd District Court of Appeals with the a similar ask, which was then denied Wednesday.
Walker had been considering taking the issue to the Supreme Court. But the DOJ ultimately opted against that move.
During an appearance Wednesday night at WTMJ’s Insight 2018, Walker said he would issue the order, but decried the prospect.
“It is amazing how far out-of-state liberals will go to push a meaningless process that’s a waste of the taxpayer’s money,” Walker told host Jeff Wagner.
The lawsuit seeking to force Walker to call the special election was backed by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is led by former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Walker also said if he lived in those districts, he would pass on running in the special elections and instead focus on the fall “when it actually means something,” though he knows candidates will contest the late spring races.
The two seats have been vacant since Dec. 29, when Sen. Frank Lasee, R-DePere, and Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, resigned to join the Walker administration.