MADISON, Wis., July 13 (UPI) -- There were no upsets in Wisconsin's six Senate recall primary elections Tuesday, with Democrats knocking off Republican straw opponents as expected.
The six Democrats will now move on to face the Republican Senate incumbents Aug. 9. At stake, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said, is control of the state Senate and whether Republican Gov. Scott Walker can continue pushing through his agenda.
In the six primaries, former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum of De Pere defeated Otto Junkermann of Allouez, a one-time Republican state representative; Rep. Sandy Pasch defeated Gladys Huber, a Republican Party stalwart from Mequon; Shelly Moore, a teacher and official in the state teachers union defeated Isaac Weix, a hardware store owner and former failed candidate in Republican Party primaries for state Assembly; Rep. Fred Clark defeated Republican Rol Church of Wautoma; Jessica King, former deputy mayor of Oshkosh, defeated John Buckstaff of Oshkosh; and Rep. Jennifer Shilling defeated James D. Smith, a hospital technician in La Crosse.
Nusbaum will now face Sen. Rob Cowles, Pasch goes against Sen. Alberta Darling, Moore takes on Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, Clark will face Sen. Luther Olsen, King goes against Sen. Randy Hopper and Shilling will battle Sen. Dan Kapanke.
A change of three Senate seats will shift the chamber's balance of 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats to Democratic control.
Republicans will continue to control the state Assembly.
Wisconsin's divisive law ending most public-sector collective bargaining set in motion the biggest lawmaker-recall vote in state history.
Democrats had railed against Republicans for forcing the primaries, which will cost taxpayers more than $475,000 and gave Republican incumbents four more weeks to campaign, the Journal Sentinel said.
Republicans say three Democratic senators also facing a recall vote should lose their seats for leaving the state in February in an unsuccessful effort to block an effort by Walker to limit the bargaining rights of Wisconsin's public employees.
Republicans used a procedural maneuver to pass the bill, amid huge protests at the state Capitol in Madison. Walker signed it in March and the state Supreme Court last month let the law take effect.
Democrats say the six Republican senators should be removed for voting for the collective-bargaining law.
The "fake" Democratic "protest candidates contended it's wrong that the Republican senators are being recalled for actually doing their jobs," state Republican Party Executive Director Stephan Thompson told The Wall Street Journal.
State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate predicts real Democrats will win back Senate control.