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Recall election ordered for Wis. Gov. Scott Walker

MADISON, Wis. — The recall election ordered Friday for embattled first-term Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quickly turned into a possible rematch when the Democrat he narrowly defeated in 2010 announced he was jumping into the race.

Walker expressed confidence he would hold on to his seat shortly after the Government Accountability Board ordered the election, after more than 900,000 signatures were collected supporting a recall in the wake of Walker's push against union bargaining rights. It marks only the third recall of a governor in U.S. history.

Walker said he was ready to defend his record just 15 months into his tumultuous term.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced hours later he would challenge Walker, shaking up a Democratic primary race that had been led by union-backed candidate Kathleen Falk.

The primary is on May 8. The general election is June 5.

The election board's 5-0 vote that ordered the election came Friday morning. The board also ordered recalls for Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators.

Walker was targeted for recall after he pushed through a law last year that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most state workers. It also forced the workers to contribute more to their pension and health care costs.

Most of law upheld

U.S. District Judge William Conley upheld most of Wisconsin's contentious law curbing collective bargaining rights on Friday, but he sided with unions by overturning two portions of the law enacted last year. One banned public workers from allowing union dues to be automatically withdrawn from their paychecks, while the other required expensive annual elections where all members, not just those voting, would have to support staying organized.

Recall election ordered for Wis. Gov. Scott Walker 03/30/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 30, 2012 10:26pm]
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