Fri May 4, 2012
23rd State Senate recall primary: Dexter vs. Engel
In western Wisconsin’s 23rdSenate District recall primary, a familiar face is up against a political newcomer running as a protest candidate.
Democrat Kristen Dexter has been involved in state politics before. In 2008 she was elected to the state Assembly and represented the 68th district until she was ousted by a Republican in 2010. She's been on the Altoona School Board and was the Eau Claire County Democratic Party Chair until announcing she would run against Republican Terry Moulton in a recall election. Dexter says she’s running because people are demanding a better economy and Republicans haven’t delivered, “Despite the big promises that were made during the 2010 campaign, this fundamental issue has not been addressed. In fact, I would say it’s been a pretty dismal failure.”
Dexter also takes issue with Sen. Moulton's vote to limit collective bargaining for public workers and his recent efforts to repeal the state's equal pay law.
Dexter’s primary challenger is James Engel. Engel is a newcomer to politics, though he ran unsuccessfully for a town board position. He says he’s been an independent all his life but was asked by the Republican Party to run as a democrat in the primary. He says that doesn't make him a fake, “I take exception to the terminology to the term fake Democrat. I think that the state and the nation are at a crisis crossroad and action must be taken by people willing to solve the myriad of problems we face.”
Engel says he's against collective bargaining for public workers, is pro-life but is undecided on voter ID. One thing separating Engel from other protest candidates is that if he wins the primary he says he’ll challenge incumbent Sen. Terry Moulton in the general election.