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When Senate and Gubernatorial Races Collide When Senate and Gubernatorial Races Collide When Senate and Gubernatorial Races Collide When Senate and Gubernato...

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When Senate and Gubernatorial Races Collide

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker(AP Photo/Dinesh Ramde)

January 18, 2012

The recall effort against Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has the GOP's U.S. Senate candidates racing to cast themselves as party loyalists, with each touting the support they've lent to Republicans facing the possibility of being booted from office. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

"Re-electing Scott Walker is our top priority now," [Mark] Neumann said. "That's very difficult for a Senate candidate to say that because I want their help and support. But we have a different job to do first. I tell them, 'We need to do it simultaneously.'"

In addition to Neumann, a spokesman for former governor Tommy Thompson, also a candidate for Senate, said Thompson also would work to help re-elect Walker.

"Thompson crisscrossed the state to rally support for senators facing a recall and to keep the Senate in GOP hands. It's encouraging that other Republicans are following Thompson's lead," said Thompson spokesman Darrin Schmitz.


It's also a reason why, as we've written before, Jeff Fitzgerald, the state Assembly speaker whose brother, state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald also faces the prospect of a recall election, could be well-positioned to capitalize on gubernatorial tussle. He's been a staunch Walker ally who has also introduced a bill to impose strict penalties for signing petitions more than once.

Watch to see if involvement by the GOP Senate candidates turns into a game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better. And don't lose sight of Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin's involvement; she doesn't have a primary but has been weighing in on the recall as well.

The risk for each of the Senate candidates -- Democratic or Republican -- in getting deeply involved in the race is the uncertainty of the outcome. If Walker is unseated, his surrogates must admit some degree of defeat, and vice versa.

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