Democrats appear to have regained control of Wisconsin's state Senate, a victory that partially offsets Republican governor Scott Walker's decisive win.
Considering the massive fanfare surrounding the bitterly contested effort to recall Gov. Walker, you could be forgiven for failing to notice the Senate races. But former Democratic Senator John Lehman appears to have narrowly Republican incumbent Van Wanggaard, who had unseated him in 2010.
If Lehman's win is validated, it would complete an effort initiated last summer, when elections to recall several state senators narrowed the Republican party's Senate majority to a single seat. That election served as a precursor of the Walker recall, setting a Wisconsin record for election spending that Tuesday's recall subsequently broke.
With a lead of fewer than 800 votes and all precincts reporting, Lehman has declared victory. Wanggaard has not yet conceded, saying he wants to review the results, and the Associated Press says the race remains too close to call.
Gov. Walker was able to push through a bill severely limiting public unions' collective bargaining rights, sparking a furious backlash and eventually a recall effort, with the help of Republican majorities in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature. A Democratic majority in the Senate could blunt an attempt by Walker to claim his recall victory as a mandate to pursue his agenda.