MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Get ready for a wild political ride in 2010. The Wisconsin governor’s office is up for grabs without an incumbent running for the first time in 28 years. And UW-Madison political scientist Charles Franklin says a strong finish by either party’s nominee for governor may carry their party’s legislative hopefuls to victory as well. Republicans are scrambling to win back the control they lost 14 months ago, when Democrats won the Assembly to take the majority in both houses while retaining the governor’s office. But Franklin says much of what will happen is beyond the control of either party, considering the state of the economy. Also, Franklin says the quality of legislative candidates will be a crucial factor, because only a handful of seats will actually be in play. Democrats now control the 99 member Assembly by 6 seats – and they have a 3 vote edge in the 33 member Senate. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett hopes to replace Doyle while keeping the governor’s office Democratic. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former Congressman Mark Neumann are the leading Republican hopefuls. And there are several lesser-known candidates in both parties as well.
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