Candidates file signatures to run in recall election

Barrett calls on Democrats to unify

Eight people have filed nomination papers to run in the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker.

The Government Accountability Board was reviewing the signatures submitted before Tuesday’s deadline to determine if they had the 2,000 required to get on the ballot.

Democrats who filed are Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout. Falk turned in the maximum number of nomination signatures — 4,000 — to run against Walker in this spring’s recall election. 

Falk said she’s reaching voters from all over the state.

“That’s why six years ago when, I was on the statewide ballot, not the top of the ticket, that I earned 1,056,000 votes, which is 50,000 more votes than our candidate for governor got a year and a half ago,” Falk said, taking a swipe at Barrett, who lost to Walker in 2010.

Barrett’s wife, Kris, and former lieutenant governor Barbara Lawton submitted signatures on his behalf.

Lawton endorsed Barrett, despite being a strong advocate for more female candidates in office and women’s rights

“But men and women together carry that banner and today I am endorsing Tom Barrett because I trust that he will carry that banner on our behalf as governor,” Lawton said.

Proudly touting an outsider image, Vinehout said Barrett’s last campaign was not enough.

“We cannot repeat what we did in 2010,” Vinehout said. “Democrats have to win in my part of the state. In my district, voters voted for me and they voted for Scott Walker and Ron Johnson. Where we have to win as Democrats is in the neighborhoods that I have represented for the last six years.”

But La Follette said it’s his longtime career in politics that will win him the race.

“I’ve shaken more hands than (Wisconsin senator) Bill Proxmire probably, and I’ve been doing it for years. People know me, I’m a known quantity, and I’ve got nothing to prove except to get Wisconsin back on track again and to bring us together,” La Follette said.

A primary is set for May 8 to winnow the field to one.

Gladys Huber, of Mequon, is a Republican who is running as a Democrat as part of a state GOP plan to ensure there is a primary. Her nomination papers were dropped off by the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Arthur Kohl Riggs, a protester who frequently videotapes newsmakers in the Capitol, filed to run as a Republican. Michael Mangan of West Allis also filed as a Republican.

Hariprasad Trivedi filed as an independent.

“We’re not going to allow one of our Republican candidates to go and have an election on the day every liberal activist in the state turns out to vote in a very contentious gubernatorial primary,” state Republican Party spokesman Ben Sparks said.

But Democrats said the process amounted to deceit.

“I think our experience in Wisconsin has been there’s not usually that mischief,” Falk said.

“It’s kind of a cynical move,” said Kristen Dexter, who’s running to unseat Sen. Terry Moulton in the 23rd senatorial district. “It’s trying to distract voters, to confuse voters. I think it’s not a very democratic thing to do.”

But a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board said it’s not illegal.

“At this point, there is no requirement to be a member of a political party to run for that party’s nomination,” Reid Magney said.


Walker, who faces Mangan and Riggs, himself a fake Republican, in the GOP primary, said he wasn’t involved in his party’s decisions to run the candidates. But the governor said Wisconsinites want elections to happen on the same day.

“They’re tired of elections going on forever, they don’t want to have a mishmash of when elections happen,” Walker said. “They want them to happen on June 5 and they want us to move on from that standpoint.”

Four real Democrats and one fake Democrat have filed to run against Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in a recall election.

Madison firefighter and union leader Mahlon Mitchell filed Tuesday to get on the ballot as a Democrat. Also filing were truck driver Bruce Berman of Marinette, prison guard Dale Paul of Portage and private investigator Ira Robins of Milwaukee.

Isaac Weix, a Republican running as a Democrat to ensure there would be a primary, also filed.

The Government Accountability Board was reviewing whether the candidates submitted the required 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

The primary is May 8 and the general election is June 5.

While Walker and Kleefisch were elected together in November 2010, they are standing separately for recall.

A group of fake Democrats have also filed nomination papers to force primaries in this spring’s state Senate recall races.

The GOP lined up four people to run as Democrats in each Senate race, guaranteeing a clear primary date and ensuring no Republicans will face a general election that day. The elections are scheduled for May 8 and June 5. If primaries are needed, they’ll be held May 8.

Senate challengers had to file at least 400 signatures with the Government Accountability Board by Tuesday to get their names on the ballot. Fake Democrats in all four Senate races filed signatures. GAB officials were still tallying them late Tuesday afternoon.

The recalls were spurred in part over Walker’s efforts to strip most public employees of nearly all collective bargaining rights.