In order to ensure a primary is held in each of the six recall elections taking place this spring, the state Republican Party has decided to once again register protest candidates to run as Democrats.
Party officials say they will not be campaigning for those candidates, other than to collect nomination signatures to get them on the ballot. Republicans drew criticism last summer for running the so-called “fake Democrats” during the first round of recall elections. At the time, they argued the move was needed to give senators more time to campaign after they finished work on the state budget.
From the Star Tribune (April 17, 2012) MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin’s elections board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow six Republicans running as Democrats to appear on the ballot in recall elections this spring targeting Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans.
The state Government Accountability Board’s decision ensures all six races will have a primary election on May 8 and the deciding general election for Walker and the others will be June 5.
The board agreed with the recommendation of its staff that the candidates should be allowed to run because state law doesn’t require people to prove they belong to any political party before they can seek office. Board attorney Mike Haas said the board isn’t required to determine the motivation of a candidate’s political affiliation.
Democrats have already announced they plan to run in several of the races targeting Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and four Republican state senators. However, RPW executive director Stephan Thompson says running their own candidates will keep Democrats from trying to manipulate the schedule.
If only one Democrat were to run for a seat, the May 8th primary date would be treated as the general election. The move ensures GOP incumbents have an extra four weeks to campaign.
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