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Recall race shaping up

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Greg Peck
April 3, 2012

Kathleen Falk’s seemingly unimpeded march toward the Democratic nomination in the May 8 primary and then face Gov. Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election slipped off the path last week.

Though unions tried to convince him not to run, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Friday announced he would seek the Democratic nomination in hopes of facing Walker in what would be a rematch of the November 2010 election that Walker won.

That same day, the state Government Accountability Board made certain the recall, ordering it with a 5-0 vote. It will be only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history.

On Saturday, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha announced he wouldn’t run. Another Democrat, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Waunakee, on Monday also backed away from running and instead endorsed Barrett.

Some suggest Barrett could be a “game-changer” in the Democratic race. Do you agree? After all, until Friday, it seemed apparent that Falk, already endorsed by unions, would wind up facing Walker in a choice of polar opposites. Either voters would support Walker’s changes and his law that all but ended collective bargaining rights for most public employees or they’d vote for a Democrat handpicked by unions with a goal toward restoring bargaining rights.

Barrett could be considered more centrist than Falk and the best candidate to oust Walker. A poll released by the Milwaukee Law School last week, even before he announced he would run, showed Barrett narrowly leading Falk in a Democratic primary matchup.

We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Wednesday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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