Last night, mere months after they voted to repeal collective bargaining rights for public employees, two Republican state senators in historically GOP districts were fired by Wisconsin voters. In District 18, Jessica King defeated incumbent Randy Hopper, while in District 32, Jennifer Schilling cruised to an easy victory over incumbent Dan Kapanke. The successful recall of two of Walker’s allies brings the Wisconsin state senate to a near deadlock at 17-16.
Although we’re disappointed that all six senators who sided with Gov. Walker and the Koch brothers weren’t defeated, last night’s results are a sign that the tide is beginning to turn.
In cities across the country, there are firefighters, teachers, nurses, students, bus drivers, bridge inspectors, and social workers cheering this step toward restoring justice for Wisconsin workers. The middle class is fighting back—and we’re starting to win.
Walker and his cronies rigged the game and controlled the playing field, but they shouldn’t claim victory. Despite an onslaught of corporate spending, despite corporate front group Americans for Prosperity sending false election information to Wisconsin voters, and despite confusing new election procedures at polling places, State Senators Hopper and Kapanake were defeated.
And working people made significant gains in GOP strongholds as independent voters realized that Scott Walker does not speak for them.
Americans understand what is at stake, and we understand how to reclaim the ground we lost in 2010. Standing together, we can win.
*photo courtesy Wisconsin AFL-CIO