UPDATE 2: Alberta Darling pulled it out late Tuesday night, holding onto the seat Wisconsin Democrats most wanted to claim.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
State Sen. Alberta Darling, the highest-ranking Republican facing recall, hung onto her job in Tuesday’s recall election by defeating Democratic challenger Sandy Pasch and helping thwart Democrats’ bid to wrest control of the state Senate.
Darling claimed victory near midnight, as unofficial results showed her surging ahead. Pasch conceded early Wednesday in a phone call to Darling.
“I was willing to put my future in politics on the line as an elected official to do what was right,” Darling said of her role in pushing Gov. Scott Walker’s conservative agenda. “Clearly the unions tried to take me out, and they didn’t,” Darling told WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) from her election night party in Thiensville.
Pasch went home for the night, leaving the party with her supporters in Brown Deer without further discussing the evening’s results, according to Dave Kreisman, a member of her campaign staff.
“We’re waiting to see what comes out of Waukesha tomorrow,” to see if there are any irregularities in counting the votes, Kreisman said.
He said the campaign attorneys would look into the returns from Waukesha County on Wednesday.
Darling, 67, is a 21-year veteran lawmaker from River Hills and co-chairwoman of the influential Joint Finance Committee, where she played a key role in shepherding Walker’s budget and public employee bargaining restrictions through the Legislature. She steadfastly defended that work in a race that attracted gobs of attention and money from outside groups and overall spending on a pace to exceed a record-breaking $9 million.
Darling insisted she didn’t deserve recall for just doing her job and said Pasch and other critics unfairly broadened the campaign to include a smorgasbord of issues.
Full results here.
UPDATE: Democrats successfully recalled two Republicans in the Wisconsin state Senate Tuesday, with Jennifer Shilling defeating incumbent Dan Kapanke in the state’s 32nd District and Jessica King defeating Republican Randy Hopper.
With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Shilling held a 56% to 44% lead over Kapanke, in the first race called for a Democrat Tuesday night. Shilling’s race had been considered the most likely pick-up for Democrats. President Obama won more than 60 percent of the vote in District 32 in 2008 and Gov. Scott Walker barely eked out a victory there in 2010.
led defeated Hopper by a narrower 51% to 49% with 97 percent of all precincts in. Hopper made the news earlier this year when it turned out he didn’t live in his district, but rather, with his mistress. Hopper’s wife suggested the media look for him at the girlfriend’s house.
Republican incumbents held on in three other races, where conservative districts returned State Senators Luther Olsen (52/48 over Fred Clark), Sheila Hersdorf defeating Shelly Moore 52 to 48 and Robert Cowles beating Nancy Nusbaum 58% to 42%. The historic recall effort is the largest in both state and U.S. history.
Full race results here.
One race remained outstanding as of 11:47 p.m. EST, as the race between incumbent Republican Alberta Darling, whose campaign was saturated with $8 million from interest groups, narrowly
behind leading Democrat Sandra Pasch by a margin of 52%/48% with 79 percent reporting. That race lagged behind in reporting all night.
Ominously, among those still outstanding were the votes from Waukesha County, where earlier this year, the elections supervisor “discovered” thousands of “missing” votes for Republican incumbent state supreme court justice David Prosser, for whom the elections supervisor, Kathy Nikolaus, once worked. At 11:55 p.m., it appeared that Waukesha County would be the decider again, and that the vote would be delayed.
Polls have closed in the Wisconsin recall elections. Democrats need to win 5 of the 8 seats to net three seats and take back the Wisconsin state assembly. There are six races tonight, and two more on August 16th. Democrats need to take three of the seats tonight and hold onto their two seats next week.
So far, the Republican incumbents are holding their own, with comfortable leads in all but District 14, where incumbent Luther Olsen is barely ahead of his Democratic challenger.
Get live results here.
Greg Sargent on the big lie that started it all.
FiveThirtyEight breaks down the districts:
All of these seats can be classified as being in swing districts, having voted for Mr. Walker, a Republican, in 2010 but for President Obama in 2008. Most are a couple of points more Republican than Wisconsin as a whole. The closest thing to an exception is the 32nd Senate District in the western corner of the state, served by the Republican incumbent Dan Kapanke. It is more liberal than the others, having given Mr. Walker only a narrow plurality in 2010 and Mr. Obama 61 percent of its vote in 2008.
And offers this handy chart: