Fri July 6, 2012
Still no concession in Wisconsin's 21st Senate District
Democrat John Lehman says Republican Van Wanggaard has insulted the voters of Racine by refusing to concede in their state Senate race, even after a recount showed Lehman still up by more than 800 votes.
Lehman held a State Capitol press conference, flanked by the Democratic caucus in the Senate, urging Wanggaard to concede in the 21st state Senate district race. Lehman said he had expected a congratulatory phone call from Wanggaard on election night a month ago when returns showed him up by more than 800 votes. The official canvas left Lehman with a similar margin, as did the recount.
Lehman says Wanggaard should respect the will of the people. “We have a long history of close elections in Racine. But for somebody to stretch that and to say that we want to keep talking about this as some kind of a fraudulent situation is just really inappropriate and doesn't respect the long tradition in this country of peaceful turnover of power.”
Wanggaard now has until Tuesday (7/10) to decide whether to challenge the recount in court. His spokesman, Scott Kelly said Waangaard — a former police officer — was weighing a legal challenge over some Racine ballot bags that had been unsealed and some voters who did not sign the poll book. “He's a former investigator. He investigates evidence and sees where that leads him. And that is what he is doing now.”
The pollbook requirement is new this year. The Government Accountability Board has said that mistakes by pollworkers who did not ask people to sign the book is not reason enough to cancel out those votes.
A Lehman win combined with two other successful recall challenges last year would hand Democrats a 17-to-16 majority in the Senate.