With the victory of Republican State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf in the 10th District Democrats found themselves in a much-weakened position in Wisconsin’s nationally-watched recall elections Tuesday night. Coupled with the triumph of Republican Sen. Rob Cowles in the Second District, Harsdorf’s win over Democrat Shelly Moore means that the Badger State GOP has emerged victorious in two of the six recall elections sparked by Democratic anger at Gov. Scott Walker and his conservative agenda.
Democrats can now lose one more recall against Republican senators but would then have to win the remaining three races that are undecided in order to overturn the present 19-to-14 seat GOP majority in the state senate.
Harsdorf, a conservative, had been a stalwart backer of Walker and his agenda that included limiting collective bargaining for state employees and cuts to both public education and localities. The 60-year-old Harsdorf, whose district is on the border of Minnesota, had been locked in a tight race with Moore, a teacher with strong backing from labor unions.
But Harsdorf’s survival means that, in spite of record spending in the state, Democrats are now hard-pressed to reach their goal of a majority in the senate (and embarrassment for Walker).