Wis. Dem Incumbents Out-Fundraise Recall Challengers — By A Lot

The three Democratic state senators who will be on the ballot in the massive wave of recalls in Wisconsin now have a big advantage over their Republican challengers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports — with fundraising levels that are many, many times greater.

Voters are headed to the polls on Tuesday in six districts, where Republicans are facing recalls, to vote in Democratic primaries between the official Dem challengers and fake “Democratic” candidates who are actually Republican activists, planted by the state GOP in order to delay the general elections. But next Tuesday, there will be three more races — two Republican primaries, and a general election in another seat.

Dem state Sen. Dave Hansen, the only incumbent who will be directly up in a general election next Tuesday, has raised $317,930, and has $243,147 in cash on hand. By contrast, his lone opponent David VanderLeest — a flawed candidate that the GOP were stuck with after their preferred candidate, state Rep. John Nygren, failed to submit 400 valid petition signatures — has not submitted a report yet.

In the other two races, which have contested Republican primaries next Tuesday, with general elections set for August, the Dem incumbents are also way ahead of their GOP opponents on the money front.State Sen. Robert Wirch has raised $184,517, and has $141,753 cash on hand. By comparison, GOP candidates Jonathan Steitz and Fred Ekornaas have only raised $21,109 and $4,521, respectively, and have $11,929 and $437 cash on hand.

State Sen. Jim Holperin has raised $337,843, and has $147,858 cash on hand. Holperin’s Republican opponents Kim Simac and Robert Lussow have raised $22,251 and $350. Simac has $53,616, thanks to starting the campaign with over $30,000 already on hand — and Lussow has apparently spent nothing.

In the six races where Republicans are facing recalls, TPM reported last week that the GOP incumbents had out-raised their Democratic challengers, but that the Democrats had more cash on hand going into the final month of the campaign.