Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 --- 3:45 p.m.
Whatever happens on Tuesday, Rebecca Kleefisch will find her name penned on the pages of American history. "I'm the only lieutenant governor in national history to ever face a recall election," said Kleefisch. "I would like it actually to go down in history as being the only lieutenant governor in national history to be elected twice in my own first term."
In a sign of how turbulent the political climate's been here, her Democratic challenger is a man who wasn't really even involved in politics when Kleefisch was first elected. "I was not looking to get into politics at all," said Mahlon Mitchell, the Democratic candidate. "As far as where I was, being state president of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, that was the extent of how far I was going to go into politics."
The state's number two job isn't often the focus of so much political passion. We asked Kleefisch if the recall against her was really more about Governor Walker. "I think our recall is about a group of people who were very frustrated when we asked for some changes to align our public sector a lot more with our private sector," she said.
Whether her recall is a referendum on Gov. Walker or not, Mitchell insists the recall effort is about where Walker's leading the state.
"The race is not about revenge, the race is about the direction that Walker's taken our state and it being wrong," he said.
And while they may not agree on what should come next for Wisconsin, each argues they're the candidate to help steer the state there. "We need someone who has spent the last year and a half with the eye on the prize," said Kleefisch. "The prize being job creation in the state and then assuring that we have the workers with the skills to take those jobs." "We have an emergency at the Capitol and we need everybody chipping in, doing the right thing," said Mitchell. "But we need all hands working in our state and that's the mentality that me and Mayor Barrett are going to bring to the state Capitol."