Red, white and blue

Political expert projects state Senate recall election races

CREATED Jun 4, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Wisconsin could elect a new governor and lieutenant governor on Tuesday, but the state Senate could see a shift in power as well.

As of Monday, the Senate is split 16-16 and four Republican seats are on the recall election ballot Tuesday.

Senate seats in Districts 13, 21, 23 and 29 are up for recall and with the current tie in Senate partisanship, the Democrats would only need to take one seat to gain a majority.

Lee Bergquist, a veteran reporter of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Wisconsin's Afternoon News that he expects Van Wanggaard's seat in District 21 to be one most likely to change hands.

Bergquist describes the Van Wanggaard-John Lehman election as a "historically close Senate race."  According to Bergquist, "(Right now) I don't think anyone knows for sure what will happen (in this race)."

The next closest race, according to Bergquist, would be the District 23 seat between Democrat Kristen Dexter and Republican Terry Moulton.  Dexter previously beat Moulton when he was defending his 68th state Assembly district in 2008.

Meanwhile, Bergquist expects Republicans Jerry Petrowski of District 29 and Scott Fitzgerald of District 13 to retain their seats.

Bergquist said he was a bit surprised that Democrat Donna Seidel trails Petrowski so much in that recall race -- especially since that seat was vacated by former state Senator Pam Galloway earlier this year.

"(Scott) Fitzgerald should win, but Lori Compas has been an effective campaign," said Bergquist, citing her ability to raise money without direct support from Wisconsin's Democratic Party.

The state Senate victories could be short lived -- as 16 Senate seats are up for election on November 6, 2012.

Bergquist noted that if a special session on jobs, the economy or mining legislation is called before this November, then whoever wins Tuesday's seats could make an impact.