MADISON (WKOW) – Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he will challenge enough signatures to stop a recall against him.
Fitzgerald and three other Republican senators are just days away from filing those challenges with state officials
Senator Fitzgerald said his campaign is still looking over recall signatures to make sure they have not missed anything before their deadline this Thursday.
But the recall organizer said they will not find enough mistakes to stop an election.
"What is going on is a big deal," Fitzgerald said. "The organizers of my recall said they would go over every signature to make sure they are valid. Well that did not happen."
He said more than 3,000 signatures to recall him should not count.
"I have seen people five, six or seven times people signing my papers. That's infuriating," Fitzgerald said.
He said his campaign found duplicates, convicted felons and even people out of the district counted in the 20,600 signatures recall organizers said they collected. They need a little more than 16,700.
"I am absolutely confident we have more than enough signatures to trigger a recall," said Lori Compas, who organized the recall effort against Sen. Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald said, in addition to the thousands of signatures he will challenge, organizers should have used newly drawn maps of his district.
"There could be a game-changer and that might be the hearing in federal court," said Fitzgerald.
A three-judge panel is set to hear arguments in two weeks to decide if the new maps are constitutional.
Compas said she checked with the Government Accountability Board.
"They told me to use the current maps because new maps will not take effect until November, and with legal challenges I doubt they will take effect at all," Compas said.
And despite hearing otherwise from the GAB, the senator still said organizers got more than the 60 days allowed to collect signatures. The GAB said the clock does not start ticking until the day after registration.
"I still have not seen that confirmed in statute or GAB policy," Fitzgerald said.
"I am confident we will have enough signatures. He said we don't. One of us is wrong and we will find out pretty soon who that is," Compas said.
If the senator's challenges stop to the recall, it would be the first time in 26 years in Wisconsin, according to a GAB spokesman.
Only two other senators have avoided a recall when the GAB found thousands of signatures did not count.
Both of those cases were in the 1980s.