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How can Republicans stop losing seats in special elections?


Scott Walker has a plan: stop holding them. It may not surprise you that he’s willing to violate Wisconsin law in doing so:

The governor is deliberately denying Wisconsinites representation in the legislature by refusing to call special elections to fill open seats in the State Assembly and the State Senate.

In doing so, he is rejecting the clear intent of Wisconsin’s statutes, which declare: “Any vacancy in the office of state senator or representative to the Assembly occurring before the 2nd Tuesday in May in the year in which a regular election is held to fill that seat shall be filled as promptly as possible by special election.”

It may be that Walker is refusing to schedule the special elections because he is scared. The results of special elections held last Tuesday were disastrous for Walker and his Republican allies. The party lost a State Senate seat in western Wisconsin’s 10th District, as a 26-point Republican advantage in November 2016 shifted to an 11-point Democratic advantage in January 2018. And the GOP came closer than anyone expected to losing an Assembly seat in overwhelmingly Republican Washington County, where a Democrat won 43 percent of the vote. Even the governor admits the loss of the State Senate seat represents a “wake-up call.” And Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, argues that: “Governor Walker is running scared and is playing politics with people’s right to be represented in the State Capitol. He is clearly feeling the heat and scrambling to boost lack luster polls and the Republican brand, but voters are wide awake and aren’t buying it.”

Wisconsin remains near the center of the Republican party’s war on Democracy. In completely unrelated news, my copy of the pictured book arrived this week. It’s sitting on my table, daring me to start reading it.

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