Recall Election Spending Update

Email date: 8/5/11

Records galore as recall election campaigns draw to a close
Spending in five of the nine recall elections already has surpassed the previous record for most spent in a state senate race. A sixth will break the old record shortly. The Democracy Campaign estimates $7.9 million has been spent so far in the 8th district race in the Milwaukee area, $5.5 million in the 14th district north of Madison, $5 million in the northwestern Wisconsin’s 10th district, $3.2 million in the 18th district in the Fond du Lac area, $3.1 million in the 12th district in the northeastern part of the state, and $3 million in the La Crosse area’s 32nd district.

The old record was $3 million, set in 2000 in the 10th senate district.

Spending in the other three recall elections is significant but is unlikely to reach the old record. WDC estimates $1.9 million has been spent so far in the Kenosha area’s 22nd district race. In two Green Bay-area races, an estimated $1.1 million has been spent in the 30th district and $750,000 in the 2nd district.

Two candidates — Republicans Alberta Darling and Dan Kapanke — already have exceeded the old record for spending by an individual state senate candidate. Darling has reported spending over $1.1 million and Kapanke has reported spending more than $850,000. The previous record was about $720,000 in 2008 by one of Senator Darling’s past opponents. To follow the money in the recall elections, go here.

These elections are making national news. For a sampling of the coverage, go here, here and here.

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