MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Embattled first-term Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will face a recall this spring after an election was ordered Friday following the collection of more than 900,000 signatures in the wake of his push against union bargaining rights.
The Government Accountability Board voted 5-0 to order the recall, a move that has been expected for weeks given the large number of signatures gathered between November and January. It took 540,208 signatures to trigger a recall.
Assuming a Democratic primary is necessary, it will be in just 39 days on May 8. The actual recall vote then will be June 5, just 67 days away. Three Democrats already have announced they are running and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated in 2010, has said he would announce his intentions before Tuesday. A spokesman for Barrett did not return messages seeking comment Friday.
Walker, who has repeatedly stood by all the collective bargaining changes he championed, said Thursday that he looked forward to making his argument for keeping his job during the recall campaign.
“It gives us a great opportunity to tell our story, to tell that we’re turning things around, how we’re heading in the right direction, how we’re moving Wisconsin forward,” Walker said after a news conference in Milwaukee. “But we’ve got a lot more to do.”
There have been only two successful gubernatorial recalls in U.S. history, against California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921.