Scott Walker is scared Democrats will pick off seats in Wisconsin. So he's refusing to allow special elections at all.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s strategy to stop the long string of Republican losses in special elections is simply to stop calling special elections.
But Democrats are fighting back.
According to Reuters, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is suing to force Walker to hold special elections in state legislative districts vacated by Republicans appointed to the governor’s administration.
Walker previously refused to call special elections for Assembly District 42 and Senate District 1, claiming that the state House term was almost over and it could wait until the midterms.
But there is obviously an ulterior motive. Walker is afraid he’ll lose these GOP-leaning seats, as happened in January when Democrat Patty Schactner flipped the heavily rural, pro-Trump Senate District 10. At the time, Walker referred to that special election as a “wake up call.”
Walker also seems to be following the lead of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who decided to simply leave the 13th Congressional District open for a year following the resignation of Rep. John Conyers and deprive Detroit of congressional representation.
Heading into November, Walker is himself one of the most vulnerable Republican governors as he seeks a third term. He and his allies have imposed numerous measures to restrict the vote and block ethics investigations into their government. Refusing to call elections altogether is simply another phase of their war on accountability.
The NRDC, the brainchild of President Obama headed up by former attorney general Eric Holder, has jumped into legal and political battles across the country for fair elections. They scored a major victory last year by helping elect Gov. Ralph Northam in Virginia, where Democrats now gain a veto over Republican gerrymandering.
With this lawsuit, Walker is now on notice that democracy is not optional. If he cannot allow the people of his state to have representation, he has no businesses wielding power in a representative government.