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Kapanke Down; Dems Score First Wisconsin Win

After losing two of the six recall elections against Republican state senators in Wisconsin Tuesday, Democrats finally defeated a GOP incumbent.  In a race that went back and forth, conservative Republican State Sen. Dan Kapanke was finally edged out by liberal Democratic State Rep. Jennifer Schilling.
 
The contest in the 6th District had been considered the most likely of the nationally-watched recall elections in the Badger State to flip from Republican to Democrat.  The district, which surrounds LaCrosse near the Minnesota border, gave Barack Obama 61% of its vote in 2008.  In contrast to some of the other districts targeted by Democrats and organized labor, there was a relatively weak “tea party” presence.
 
Conservative Kapanke never retreated from his support of Republican Scott Walker’s conservative agenda, including limiting collective bargaining for state employees and cuts from state aid to education and to localities.  Schilling hit this hard, calling Kapanke a “rubber stamp” for the governor. 
 
As Kapanke’s defeat became apparent Tuesday, a few supporters began suggesting he follow the example of Mayor Frank Skeffington, fictional hero of the classic novel “The Last Hurrah,” who is defeated for re-election and promptly announces he will run for governor the following year.  Last fall, Kapanke narrowly lost a spirited campaign against veteran Democratic Rep. Ron Kind.  With speculation mounting that Kind will give up his seat in 2012 to run for the seat of retiring Sen. and fellow Democrat Herb Kohl, there is already encouragement for Kapanke, his loss of a senate seat aside, to now focus on a bid for Congress. 

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ?ť and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ?ť and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â?ť video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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