UPDATED Thursday, April 5, 2012 --- 5:30 p.m.
MADISON--A fifth Democrat is joining Secretary of State Doug La Follette, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, State Senator Kathleen Vinehout and Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk as they vie for the Democratic nomination in a recall primary next month.
But it's a move that's drawing ire from the state's Democratic party. "What they're doing now is clearly subverting the democratic process," said Brad Wojciechowski, communications director for the state senate democratic committee.
The truth is: this candidate is not really a Democrat at all. She's running with the support of the Republican party. "The primary focus of this effort is to ensure that no Republican candidates are up for election when every liberal activist in the state turns out to vote in a very contested Democratic gubernatorial primary," said Ben Sparks, communications director of the Republican party of Wisconsin. "So again this is about election fairness."
The gubernatorial race isn't the only one where Republicans will be fielding a candidate to run in the primary. In fact, they'll have somebody running in each of the upcoming recall elections. "We want to ensure that there's one primary date and one general election date," said Sparks.
Democrats are calling the moves delay tactics--and say they're not surprised. "We're going to continue running our race," said Wojciechowski. "We're going to run against the Republican senators and Gov. Walker. We're more than happy to run against their failed record and their failed policies."
Candidates need to gather 2,000 nominating signatures--by Tuesday--in order to be included on the primary ballot. That's for the governor and lieutenant governor races. Only 400 signatures are needed for the senate races.
Sparks says they're in the process of getting the necessary signatures now--and says they're confident they'll be able to reach the requisite number. "We're expending resources to get them on the ballot, but beyond that the Republican party of Wisconsin will not be expending any further resources," he said.
Gladys Huber is the candidate running in the governor's recall in May.
This will not be Huber's first time feigning a Democrat: last summer she ran in the primary for the recall election against State Senator Alberta Darling.
Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2012 --- 3:35 p.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state GOP has lined up six fake Democrats to run in upcoming recall elections targeting Gov. Scott Walker and five other Republicans.
GOP spokesman Ben Sparks says Gladys Huber will run for governor; Isaac Weix will run for lieutenant governor; and Gary Ellerman, Tamara Varebrook, James Engel and James Buckley will run in four state Senate recalls.
The elections are scheduled for May 8 and June 5. If primaries are needed they'll be held May 8.
Sparks says running fake Democrats guarantees a clear primary date and ensures no Republicans will face a general election that day, when Democrats likely will turn out in huge numbers to select a gubernatorial challenger.
He says the party doesn't plan to spend any money on the fake Democrats' campaigns.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.