Fox News projects that….
Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker to become first governor in US history to survive recall election, ending months of bitter acrimony that started when Walker and the state scaled back labor unions’ rights.
Wisconsin residents on Tuesday voted in favor of keeping GOP Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election organized after he eliminated collective bargain agreements for most state employees to cut a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall, Fox News projects.
Fox News called the race shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
Walker in surviving the recall election, beat back a challenge by Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Walker’s victory caps months of acrimony that began when Walker and Republicans in the state legislature rolled back what they considered excesses in the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.
The recall effort started about 18 months after the first-term governor eliminated collectively bargain agreements for most state employees, in an effort to cut Wisconsin’s multi-billion dollar budget shortfall.
Democrats and unions argued that Walker had gone too far, then helped organize massive statehouse protests and gather 900,000 signatures for the recall vote. The effort began shortly after the state legislature agreed last year to Walker’s proposal, which also requires most public state workers to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits.
Roughly $63 million was spent on the race, with much of Walker’s money coming from outside of the state.
Walker’s victory in a state that went for President Obama in 2008 gives Republicans hope that Wisconsin may vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in November.
The outcome is also a blow to Big Labor, which poured considerable resources into the failed effort to remove Walker from office. Of the three recall elections of governors in U.S. history, Walker is the only one to survive one.
Fox cam also project that Walker’s lieutenant governor, Republican Rebecca Kleefisch, has survived her recall election.