MILWAUKEE, WISC. – Today, voters will determine which Democrat candidate will face off against Gov. Scott Walker in the recall election on June 5th. Polls heading into primary day show Milwaukee Mayor, Tom Barrett ahead of former Dane County executive, Kathleen Falk by 17 points.
The contested primary race has many Democrat leaders fighting and some wondering if the party will be able to unite come June.
Yesterday, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin cancelled their “Unity Rally,” in hopes to bring the party together and build enthusiasm for today’s election, because frontrunner Tom Barrett decided not to participate.
Some have questioned Barrett’s motives, and suggested that the Milwaukee Mayor is looking to distance himself from union leaders for fear of having those images used against him by the Walker campaign. Big labor groups are backing Falk, who has received more than four million dollars according to the Milwaukee Sentinel.
Both candidates have said they will ensure collective bargaining rights of public-sector unions, an issue that has started the fight to recall Gov. Scott Walker.
Still, Barrett has been criticized by unions for showing support for Gov. Walker’s collective bargaining bill, an allegation that he denies.
Falk has said repeatedly that Barrett had “reluctantly” signed the recall petition, which makes her a more qualified candidate to face Walker.
In addition to the primary for the gubernatorial recall, today’s Wisconsin primary includes a lieutenant governor’s race and four state Senate recalls.
All polls in Wisconsin will close at 8 pm. The state elections board predicts voter turnout could be up to 35 percent, which would be the highest for a Wisconsin primary in 60 years.