Democratic chair says recall on track - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Democratic chair says recall on track, Barrett not being discouraged


MADISON (WKOW) -- The chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party says efforts to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch remain on track, but he refuses to update how many signatures have been collected.

Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said Tuesday that the petitions will be turned in to state election officials on January 17. They need 540,208 for both Walker and Kleefisch to trigger recall elections.

Recall organizers said on December 15 that they had 507,000 signatures for Walker but would not give a number for Kleefisch. Tate is still refusing to say how many signatures they have for her, but he says enough will be turned in to force a recall.

Tate says they are on track to get 720,000 signatures for Walker. Organizers of the recall effort hoped all along to collect signatures well in excess of the required amount as a buffer against any disqualified signatures.

Tate told 27 News an apparent attempt by union leaders to discourage Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett from making a run in any recall race has no democratic party affiliation.

"We are not involved in any efforts to discourage any democrat from running for governor," said Tate. "We're focused on gathering enough signatures to force an election on Scott Walker."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Barrett is strongly considering a run, despite the unions' stance. Barrett lost to Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Tate said a Democratic primary in a recall election would not hinder the ultimate candidate's chances against Walker, and could enhance them. In addition to Barrett,  state Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) and Secretary of State Douglas LaFollette have talked of running. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, former Congressman Dave Obey, state Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and state Representative Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) are believed to be considering a candidacy. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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