Don’t let anyone say there isn’t bipartisanship in Wisconsin.
The newest example of Wisconsin Republicans recruiting fake Democratic candidates, to force Dem primaries and make trouble in the state Senate recalls: Otto Junkermann, an 82-year old former Republican state representative, who will challenge official Democratic candidate Nancy Nusbaum for the recall against GOP state Sen. Rob Cowles.
As the Green Bay Press Gazette reports, Junkermann very openly professes to support Cowles:
Otto Junkermann, 82 of Allouez, said he thinks “very highly” of Cowles, a Republican also from Allouez, and will run against Nusbaum as a “conservative Democrat.”
“I respect Rob a great deal. I’ve known him, I followed him into the Assembly and took the position he had when he went into the Senate, and I always admired him,” Junkermann said.
Junkermann served in the Assembly as a Republican for one term from 1987-88. He was also a Brown County supervisor from 1982-87 and ran again in 2002, 2004 and 2008 but lost.
Asked if he was a so-called “spoiler candidate,” Junkermann said: “I don’t know how I could avoid being considered that.”
Over in another district, a 25-year old county GOP official has signed up to run as a ringer Democrat in a primary. And in another district, a retiree who has donated to multiple Republicans is running as a fake Dem.
The key here is that recalls are now tentatively scheduled for July 12, under the state election officials’ proposed timelines, targeting six Republicans. If there were only one Democrat against each one Republican, then the July 12 date would immediately be held as the general election. But if there were additional Democrats, the July 12 date would then become the primary, giving the incumbents more time to campaign for a general election in August.
Also, thanks to Wisconsin’s open primary system in which anybody can vote in a party primary, it would force the Democrats to spend time, money and resources campaigning for their own nominations.
The strategy is being officially coordinated by state Republican leaders, and has been endorsed by state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.