Walker Recall Effort Moves Forward Without Obvious Opponent | Politics
The recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker is in full swing despite Democrats not having an obvious opponent to run against him.
Democratic leaders, including Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, state Rep. Brett Hulsey, former state Rep. Spencer Black, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin President Mahnlon Mitchell, fired up the crowd at a cramped Louisiannes in downtown Middleton on Wednesday night.
The Recall Walker party allowed dozens of supporters to sign up to gather signatures for a recall election, pitting Walker against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
Some Democrats, like Erpenbach, said they are strongly considering a run, but haven't made anything official. Others simply arent interested.
"I just retired after 26 years in public office, so I'm eager to support someone else," said retired Black.
No, Im very happy where I am. I love being the county executive, said Parisi.
So can the recall effort gather 540,000 signatures needed to trigger an election without an opposing candidate?
According to Black, the answer is yes.
"This is a referendum election, Black said. This is a referendum on whether people agree what Gov. Walker is doing to the state or not doing."
"The old saying is, 'You don't beat somebody without somebody.' And that's especially true here," said University of Wisconsin political science professor Charles Franklin.
Franklin said Democrats will eventually need to choose a strong candidate who can pull in the Independent vote.
"90 percent of Republicans approve of the job (Walker's) doing. Only 12 percent of Democrats do. In that kind of polarized atmosphere, his opponents are probably willing to sign to recall without knowing who the candidate will be," Franklin said.
Those in Middleton agree that a candidate isnt needed yet.
"Right now this is really about going through the process of people being able to say this governor overreached. He overstepped. He didn't have a mandate to do what he did," said Parisi.
If enough signatures are gathered, the Democratic Party will have to agree on who should run against Walker. If a consensus isnt reached, that could force a primary. That delay could push the election to May, leaving a short amount of time to campaign. That's why Franklin said Democrats would benefit if they nominated someone already well-known in the state.