Challenge to placeholder recall candidates could change election dates

MADISON -- A challenge was filed Thursday, April 12th by Democrats to remove six "place holder" candidates from ballots in the upcoming recall elections. This challenge could have a big impact on when the recall elections take place in the lieutenant governor and senate recall races.

These "place holder" candidates are running as Democrats not to win, but to ensure there will be primary elections. They are buying time - a legitimate political strategy, according to Republicans, as Democrats made a move to kick the candidates off the ballots Thursday.

Thursday, Democrats asked the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to kick the "place holder" candidates off the ballots. In a 71 page complaint, an attorney for the Democrats said Republicans are using election fraud to manipulate the system.

The complaint said the candidates told petition signers they were Democrats, while preaching openly about their loyalty to the Republican Party.

If this challenge is successful, there won't be any need for a primary in all the races, so the general election set for June could be pushed up by nearly a month.

Democratic candidates, like Tom Barrett, who is running in the gubernatorial recall against Scott Walker, called the move by Republicans an abuse of the system.

Republicans believe "place holders" are well within the rules, saying: "The complaint filed by Attorney Levinson is nothing more than a publicity stunt. We're confident that each of the candidates will appear on the May 8th ballot, ensuring clear primary and general election dates."

The GAB will take up the challenge on Tuesday, April 17th. The decision will not affect the gubernatorial recall election, since there will be a primary election whether the candidates get kicked off the ballot or not. For lieutenant governor and the state senator races, it could change the election date by a month.

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