Madison judge okays May 8th, June 5th recall election dates

MADISON (AP) -- A Wisconsin judge signed off an agreement that would make May 8 or June 5 the dates for recall elections against Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans.

The deal approved by Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess was reached a day earlier by lawyers for the state elections board, recall committees and recall targets.

For races where a primary will be required, the primary election will be held May 8 with a general election four weeks later, on June 5. For races where primaries won't be necessary, the general election will take place May 8.

The Wisconsin elections board unanimously voted earlier this week to order recalls against four Republican state senators, determining that enough valid signatures were submitted to make them face elections. Election officials are still reviewing petitions targeting Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, though it appears nearly certain that both Republicans also will stand for recall since they haven't challenged the more than 1.7 million signatures submitted.

A Democratic primary in the governor's recall appears likely. Announced or likely candidates include former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Secretary of State Doug La Follette. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is also considering running.

The recalls were motivated by anger over Walker's proposal that was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature last year to effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. An earlier round of recalls last summer targeting six Republicans and three Democrats resulted in two Republicans losing their seats, leaving the GOP with a slim 17-16 majority in the Wisconsin Senate.