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DOJ asks for delay in calling special elections

(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 28, 2018 at 9:11 AM CDT
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Gov. Scott Walker wants a state appeals court to immediately rule that he can delay calling special elections for two vacant legislative seats.

The state Department of Justice on Wednesday asked the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Waukesha to give Walker until April 6 to call the elections.

A Dane County judge on Tuesday rejected Walker's request for the delay. The Senate is returning on April 4 to vote on a bill that would prohibit any special legislative elections this year. Walker argues that would make the lawsuit moot and negate the need for calling special elections.

Walker is required under a judge's order from last week to call the special elections no later than noon on Thursday. He's now asking the appeals court to rule by 9 a.m. Thursday on his request for the delay.

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The state Department of Justice is appealing a Madison judge's order requiring Gov. Scott Walker to call special elections to fill two vacant legislative seats.

Walker has refused to call special elections to replace Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee, who resigned in December to join Walker's administration. Current state law requires Walker to call special elections to fill vacancies that occur before early May of an election year but he has refused to schedule the contests.

Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds ordered Walker last week to call for the two elections by Thursday. The DOJ, which is representing Walker, notified the 2nd District Court of Appeals on Wednesday that the agency would appeal.

Republicans are rushing a bill through the Legislature that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies.

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Lawmakers are set to take comments on a bill that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies.

The Senate elections committee was set to hold a hearing on the measure Wednesday.

Gov. Scott Walker has refused to call special elections to replace state Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee, who resigned in December to join Walker's administration. Current state law requires Walker to call special elections to fill vacancies that occur before early May of an election year but he has refused to schedule the contests.

A judge last week ordered Walker to schedule the elections by Thursday. Republicans responded with a bill that prohibits special elections from being held after the spring election in a year with fall legislative elections.

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