Republicans retain control of Wisconsin Senate after recall vote

Democrats gained two seats in the Wisconsin State Senate in historic recall elections Tuesday, but Republicans held on to four others and–by a one-vote margin–control of the chamber, Dan Hirschhorn reports at Politico.

The results maintain the GOP’s total control over the state government, where they also hold the governor’s office and a majority in the House of Representatives.

Tuesday’s recall elections were sparked by Gov. Scott Walker’s contentious push to strip public unions of collective bargaining rights. Organized labor and conservative groups injected huge amounts of money into the recall campaigns, Tom Tolan and Patrick Marley report at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; at least five of the races broke the record of $3 million, set in 2000, for spending by all parties in a Senate race.

Three Democratic senators also were targeted for recall after their caucus fled the state to prevent the Senate from voting on some of Walker’s initiatives. One easily survived the challenge last month; the other two elections are next week.