Pre-Recall Election Crunch Time in WI

By KBJR News 1

June 5, 2012 Updated Jun 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM CDT

Hayward, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - In Hayward, part of Wisconsin's historically Republican Sawyer County, you can still find volunteers stepping up to bat for Tom Barrett.

"We have a group that, I think, is out of the reservation today, knocking on doors, and drumming up support. It's been, I think, very well received," said attorney Ward Winton, whose office is official pro–Barrett, recall election headquarters.

According to Winton, a tide has been turning in Sawyer County.

"I know a lot of friends that I'll go the local watering hole with, many of whom are Republicans—they're fiscally conservative, they're socially not. Many of them have been disturbed by some of the things that Governor Walker has pulled," said Winton.

But, that hasn't stopped business owner, and Chairman of the Sawyer County Republican Party, Jim Miller, from working overtime.

"The last go–around, Scott Walker won Sawyer County by 58 percentage points. And, I'm not sure if we're going to get that this time, but I'm pretty confident we'll get him over the top, at least here," said Miller.

Things have changed with the redistricting process. Democratic Senator Bob Jauch stopped representing Hayward when it became part of Wisconsin's 25th district, along with most of Sawyer County.

"...just about all of Sawyer County. He still has a couple townships on the North side. But, most of us went into the 25th. Actually, there's a pivotal election there, too—Jerry Petrowski, and Donna Seidel—coming up. That's one of the contested recall senate seats. So, hopefully we're going to get Republican representation for once," said Miller.

Meanwhile, in Superior, volunteers from both sides also hit the phone lines on Monday.

"I think that the taxpayers of Wisconsin, the average Wisconsinite, recognizes that Governor Walker's reforms are moving the state forward. He's balanced the budget, eliminated a 3.6 billion dollar deficit," said Craig Rosand, of the 7th District Republican Party.

"I think that we have a lot of people who are union people, a lot of people who re supportive of the democratic idea, and a lot of people who have always been supportive of democratic candidates," said pro-Barrett volunteer Marilyn Lange.

No matter who wins, one thing is for certain. For the Hayward community, at least, it will be nice to put this whole process behind them.

"They talk about pitting neighbor against neighbor, and I've seen that lot here, in Hayward, as well. There's a lot of families that arent talking to each other right now. Hopefully, I think, there will be some healing after this," said Miller.

...hoping political divisions don't cut too deep.

Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election will be only the third in U.S. history.