State election officials say there are sufficient signatures on petitions filed last month seeking a recall election for Sen. Dan Kapanke and three other Republican senators targeted for their support of Gov. Scott Walker's moves to curtail collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Recall organizers filed the petition against Kapanke on April 1 bearing 22,975 signatures collected in just a month. Only 15,588 signatures are necessary to trigger an election, which would be just the fifth in history for a Wisconsin legislator.
The staff of the Government Accountability Board has validated 21,868 signatures on Kapanke's petition, according to documents posted Monday.
Kapanke, considered the most vulnerable Republican facing recall, has challenged the validity of the petition on the grounds of missing paperwork as well as more than 900 individual signatures.
The nonpartisan board, comprised of six former judges, is expected to hear arguments on May 23 and issue a ruling in early June. If the petition is ruled valid, Kapanke would likely face a special election on July 12.
Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling has announced her intention to run against him in that event.
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Recall petitions have been filed against a total of six senate Republicans and three Democrats who fled the state in an effort to stall the union legislation. A recall committee targeting a fourth Democrat has until May 16 to file a petition.