Lehman will bid for Wanggaard's seat if recall election happens

Lehman will bid for Wanggaard's seat if recall election happens

By The WTMJ News Team and the Associated Press. CREATED Jan 31, 2012 - UPDATED: Jan 31, 2012

RACINE - A former Wisconsin State Senator announced Tuesday that he would be a candidate to run against current Republican Senator Van Wanggaard in a potential recall election.

Democrat John Lehman said he would run against Wanggaard if ehough recall petition signatures are verified to bring about an election for Wanggaard's seat.

Wanggaard defeated Lehman for the same seat in the 2011 election.

Initially, Lehman was not intending on going after that seat again.

"I had no plans of ever running," said Lehman at a Tuesday morning announcement with supporters on hand.

Lehman attacked Sen. Wanggaard and Governor Scott Walker's policies.

"Mr. Wanggaard has taken a whole different route in representation, and one that I think is not respectful," said Lehman.

Democrats say they collected more than 24,000 signatures to recall Wanggaard, but GOP supporters are combing through those signatures to check names and addresses.

"A lot of it comes from people leaving off information, being out of district," claims Wanggaard Campaign Manager Justin Phillips.

"We've found people frmo Wisconsin Rapids, Mequon, the Milwaukee area had signed these petitions."

Still, Lehman has confidence a historic recall election will take place.

"We think we'll be able ot beat them."

The incumbent made a statement which included, in part, "Union special interests and Democrat insiders have again selected that same John Lehman to try and undo the results of the last election. It's clear now that what they want is, literally, a do-over."

The GAB has until March 19th to verify the signatures in the Wanggaard recall attempt, and the GOP has a 10-day window to challenge those signatures.

Other Democrats have mounted recall attempts against Sens. Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls, Pam Galloway of Wausau and Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau.

Former state Rep. Kristin Dexter, an Eau Claire Democrat, says she'll run against Moulton. Dexter served in the Assembly in 2009 and 2010.

Assembly Assistant Minority Leader Donna Seidel, a Wausau Democrat, will run against Galloway.

No candidates have emerged to challenge Fitzgerald yet.

Check back for more details on this story, including comments from Lehman to TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes, in this online story and on TODAY'S TMJ4's "Live at Noon."