Republican state Sen. Robert Cowles defeated Democratic challenger Nancy Nusbaum Tuesday in the recall election in the state's 2nd Senate District, allowing Republicans to maintain control of one of six seats they are defending in a series of recall matchups. The Associated Press called the race with 81 percent of precincts reporting and Cowles leading Nusbaum 58 percent to 42 percent.
The GOP-leaning 2nd District represented one of the safer GOP seats among those up for recall. Most observers expected Cowles to hold the seat. Democrats need to flip three Republican districts to take control of the state Senate and halt Republican Gov. Scott Walker's conservative agenda.
The recall elections arose out of the controversy surrounding the new law restricting collective-bargaining rights for public employees. Six GOP state senators face Democratic challengers on Tuesday, while two Democratic state senators will face Republican opponents next week. One Democrat, state Sen. Dave Hansen, won the first recall election last month, holding onto his seat.