GOP legislators acknowledge crossover possibility in recall primary

GOP legislators acknowledge crossover possibility in recall primary

By Charles Benson. CREATED Apr 24, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 24, 2012

WAUKESHA- New developments in the recall effort of Governor Scott Walker.

As Democrats prepare for the final stretch, there's talk about a role Republicans might play in the primary.

Waukesha County is known as a Republican stronghold, so it would be surprising for a Democratic candidate to pick up lots of votes there, unless Republicans cross over.

There are five names on the Democratic side of the primary ballot.

Polls suggest Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett could have a better chance than former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk of beating Governor Walker, leaving Republicans the option of picking a weaker candidate.

The Associated Press noted on Tuesday that Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he hopes Republicans cross over and vote for Democrat Kathleen Falk in the governor's race.

"Other people do it, but it's not the way I work," said Brookfield resident James Balfe.

"I think there will be some Republicans who will do that," said state Representative Robin Vos.

The Republican leader in the Assembly concedes the idea could backfire, but says there's no organized effort to get Republicans to cross over.

"No, I'm not suggesting that," said Vos. "Will some do it? I'm sure some will. It's an open primary."

Governor Walker is on the primary ballot with the Democratic candidates, but you only get to vote once for the office of governor.

Craig Kaliebe voted absentee. He's not taking any chances with his vote.  "For me I'm going to vote for the guy that's going to win and that's Governor Walker."

Brookfield's Mayor Steven Ponto isn't a fan either. He used to be on the State Elections Board.  "I really dont think there is a significant malicious cross over vote." 

The Wisconsin Democratic Party calls it a "new low of cynicism" and says "Wisconsin will reject this just as they will reject him."

Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.