21st Senate District recall race for Wanggaard seat heating up

RACINE — John Lehman, the man working to unseat Republican Senator Van Wanggaard in the 21st Senate District will be on the ballot Tuesday, May 8th in a recall primary election. Before taking on Wanggaard, Lehman must first get past a fake Democrat, but Lehman says he’s not worried, and is focusing on the general election on June 5th.

The 21st Senate District has a reputation as a swing district that flip flops between Democratic and Republican senators. That’s why both Wanggaard and Lehman are fighting hard for the seat.

Lehman spent 14 years in the Wisconsin Legislature before losing his Senate seat to Wanggaard in 2010. Now, Lehman wants to come out of retirement. “We’re running a very energetic, effective race,” Lehman said.

This time, it’s Lehman trying to unseat Wanggaard, who is one of four Republican state senators targeted for recall. “We’re just gonna keep a positive attitude and a positive outlook,” Wanggaard said.

Before Lehman and Wanggaard can go head-to-head, Lehman must defeat Tamra Varebrook, a protest candidate placed on the ballot by Republicans. Varebrook’s website advertises her opposition to the recall elections. “There are some folks who will be mischief voting, but we expect enough of our followers will come out to support me,” Lehman said.

Wanggaard is ahead in fundraising thus far, raising $191,000 to Lehman’s $104,000. “I’m being targeted because it’s a swing district and because they feel they want a do over. They wanted this from the beginning. We’re pleased and pretty humbled by the number of people that have actually come forward to donate and contribute to the cause,” Wanggaard said.

Lehman says Wanggaard has had much longer to collect donations than he has. “We’ve only been at it for eight weeks,” Lehman said.

“John wants to expand everything and he wants to go back to the failed policies that he was a partial architect of with the Doyle budget before,” Wanggaard said.

“He can call it going back. I don’t know that it’s going back. I call that respecting Wisconsin values,” Lehman said.

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