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Ozaukee County judge who signed Walker recall petition faces elex challenge


OZAUKEE COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - One of 29 Wisconsin circuit judges who signed recall petitions against Governor Scott Walker is now facing his first-ever election challenge because of it.

Former Milwaukee prosecutor Joe Voiland is running in April against Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Tom Wolfgram, who’s spent the last 19 years on the bench.

Voiland accuses Wolfgram of taking sides politically, by joining over 900,000 Wisconsinites who signed petitions that forced the governor to stand in a recall election last year.

Monday, four of Walker’s Republican allies in the Legislature announced their support for Voiland.

Mequon Representative Jim Ott said Wolfgram, “supported the political chaos in Madison that threatened to shut down Wisconsin’s government.” Ott was referring to the massive protests at the State Capitol in 2011 over Walker’s law that virtually ended most public union bargaining in Wisconsin.

Wolfgram denies taking a position on the issue. He said he signed the petition so he and others could have more time to learn about the union law, which was the main issue in the recall effort. And if a case involving the Walker law ever comes to his court, Wolfgram said he would offer to withdraw and admit that he signed the recall petition.

The judge rolled out a series of his own endorsements Monday, including State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler.

Wolfgram was appointed to the Ozaukee County bench in 1994 to fill a vacancy, and was unopposed in three subsequent elections.