The Tea Party made news in Racine County this year, with huge turnouts at rallies held in Caledonia and Mount Pleasant. Thousands of the conservative faithful packed parks and the former Sam's Club to rally support behind their causes—and candidates—ahead of the recall elections in June and the presidential election in November.
In June, just before the historic recall election that saw voters reaffirm Scott Walker as their choice for governor it was the battle of the rallies. Democrats hosted a rally at the Racine Labor Center, with MSNBC's Ed Schulz in attendance. Hundreds came out for that.
Thousands attended a Racine Tea Party rally in Caledonia, drumming up support for the governor. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch was among the speakers. Her message was one of support for the Walker administration: "Do we want to keep going forward or do we want to go backward?" Kleefisch asked the crowd. "Forward means keeping taxes down, more money in classrooms and our sons and daughters living their American dream."
When the dust from the recall (and subsequent Racine County recount) settled, Walker, Kleefisch and most of the recalled Republican state officials were still in office. One, however, had lost his seat—local State Sen. Van Wanggaard was defeated by John Lehman, the man he had beat a few months earlier for the spot.
But when the recall ended, the Tea Party kept up its local work. There was again a turnout of thousands at a rally at the former Sam's Club ahead of the presidential election. The rally went on as planned inside, but outside, there were reports someone had gone through the lot dumping roofing nails.