Gov. Scott Walker & Mayor Tom Barrett
RIVER FALLS, Wis. - After several visits from both gubernatorial candidates, Western Wisconsin has become very relevant in what has turned into a national conversation.
The subject of the recall, Republican Governor Scott Walker, has said all along this election was about mobilizing and motivating the voters. Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, couldn't agree more with that assessment. The two men, and their supporters, agree on little else.
"It's a pretty tenuous situation over here but I think the majority of people are figuring out what's going on with this guy so I think he's going to get recalled today," Sean Downing said outside the Armory in River Falls on Tuesday. He wasn't shy about talking about who he voted for.
Fellow voter Donna McOllough wasn't shy either.
"Wisconsin, we voted several years ago to put in Walker and we need to keep him. He has all the right things going," she said.
No matter who wins the race to the finish, the disagreeing neighbors and state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will have to find some common ground.
Can it be done? We asked Diane Odeen, a Democrat from River Falls who is running for state assembly.
"We'll find common ground again, we just have to pause, take a breath, and start working together. It's not too divisive, like I said, this is a passionate moment, this is a moment of great stress for many in our community but we'll get beyond this," she said.
We took the same question to rural River Falls, where we found Republican State Senator Sheila Harsdorf on her family farm. Harsdorf survived a recall election in 2011.
"It's about recognizing sometimes it is okay to disagree but it's also important to work together," she said. "People that have never been involved before are getting involved; they recognize that they can't sit home taking care of their family and working hard, they need to get involved in the government process," Sen. Harsdorf added.
And so voter turnout was high throughout the day for clerks in Hudson and River Falls. This recall election, almost in the books, was already historic. "Today is a very critical day. Today will determine what direction our state goes," Harsdorf said. "The balance of power is really depending on what happens today," Odeen concluded.
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