Skip to main content

G.A.B. Approves Five of Six Candidates for Recall Elections Scheduled for July 19

June 27, 2011

MADISON, WI – The Government Accountability Board has approved five of the six candidates running in the July 19 State Senate recall elections. 

The Board voted unanimously to deny ballot access to Representative John Nygren as a candidate in Senate District 30 because he had only 398 of the required 400 valid signatures on his nominating petitions, based on the resolution of challenges filed Friday.  Pending a possible circuit court appeal, Nygren will not be a candidate in the recall election July 19.

The Board voted to dismiss challenges against three other candidates: Robert H. Lussow and Kim Simac in Senate District 12; and David VanderLeest in Senate District 30. 

Because Nygren did not qualify for the ballot, Republican VanderLeest and incumbent Democratic Senator Dave Hansen will face off in a recall election July 19.

In District 12, the winner of the July 19 primary between Republicans Lussow and Simac will face incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Holperin on August 16.

Because no challenges were filed in State Senate District 22, Republican candidates Fred R. Ekornaas and Jonathan Steitz were approved by staff on Friday.  The winner of their July 19 primary will face incumbent Democratic Senator Robert Wirch on August 16.

Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Government Accountability Board, said the Board gave careful consideration to the challenges and to Nygren’s answers to the challenges. “Some of the challenges were spurious, but others raised significant issues about the validity of enough signatures to keep him off the ballot,” Kennedy said.

Nygren originally submitted 424 signatures, and the Board accepted challenges to 26 signatures.  Copies of the nomination papers, challenges, answers and staff recommendations are available on the Board’s website:

For more information, contact: 

Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887

NR GAB Recall and Special Election Candidate Decisions 06-27-2011.pdf17.62 KB