Recall races ramp up as election nears in Wis. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Recall races ramp up as election nears in Wis.

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HUDSON, Wis. (KMSP) -

All eyes are on Wisconsin now that the race between embattled Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is shaping up to be a close election with the recall polls set to open on June 5.

Both candidates are trying to claim St. Croix County, and both headed to Hudson, Wis., to court voters over the holiday weekend.

The recall election rhetoric has pit neighbor against neighbor, with the streets of Hudson suddenly transforming into a political battleground dotted with signs of support for both sides of the divide.

"Walker is doing his best to divide our state," said Tammy Tollefson, a Democrat. "Barrett will bring us back together."

Two years ago, Walker beat Barrett by a 5 percent margin. This time around, Walker admits, "We've got a lot of work to do."

Polls show it's a toss-up between the two -- and the eyes of the nation are watching in the wake of Walker's controversial budget that stripped public unions of many collective bargaining rights.

Walker says if he wins, the message is clear.

"You can take a courageous decision," he said. "If we don't, I think that sends a horrible message to anybody."

Barrett has accused Walker of using the budget crisis to divide the state, but Democrats say the election is about a lot more than union rights alone.

"People have lost jobs. People's homes have lost value, there are cuts to education in our own area," said Celeste Koeberl, a Barrett volunteer.

As Election Day approaches, Democrats are trying to rally support and get out the vote.

"Your vote matters," said Koeberl.

Both campaigns plan to keep the battle for the border territory going. Republicans are planning a rally for Walker on Tuesday, and Democrats will be expanding their phone back next week.

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