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Although Scott Walker decisively beat back Tom Barrett’s challenge in Tuesday’s recall election, there was some good news for Wisconsin Democrats.

Democratic former state Senator John Lehman has declared victory over incumbent Republican Senator Van Wanggaard in a rematch of their 2010 race. Although Wanggard has not yet conceded, the Journal Times reports that Lehman led Wanggaard 36,255 votes to 35,476 votes with all precincts reporting.

“Tonight, the citizens of Racine County voted for checks and balances in our state legislature,” Lehman said in a news release. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the state senate.”

If Lehman’s victory stands, it would shift control of Wisconsin’s state senate to the Democrats by a 17 to 16 margin. The victory would be largely symbolic, as the state legislature is out of session until the November elections (when 16 senators will face the voters,) but it suggests that Walker’s victory was not a referendum on the Democratic party itself.


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