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Tension Rises as Local Recall Deadlines Near


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WTAQ) - As the deadline nears to recall eight Democratic and eight Republican senators, tensions are rising.

On Saturday, those looking to recall Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay got some support from Madison, but that was met with some strong opposition.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald visited Green Bay and says he came to show his support for not only the recall of fellow senator Hansen, but the efforts to recall 7 other senate Democrats as well.

"I hope the Republicans will have a bigger majority and have the 20th vote when it's all said and done," Fitzgerald told FOX 11. "We won't have to worry about the Democrats leaving town again. I think it'll give us the ability to move forward on job creation and expanding the economy."

Since the debate began almost two months ago, Fitzgerald has voiced his disgust with the 14 Democrats who left the state to stall a vote of the governor's budget repair bill.

Senator Hansen of Green Bay was one of those 14.

The group behind the recall says they only have 3 weeks left to reach their goal of more than 13,000 signatures, and they remain confident they'll reach their goal.

"The people here are mad," said recall volunteer, Judi Rhodes. "He left town for three weeks and didn't do his job. If any of the rest of us did that, we wouldn't get our paycheck, we'd be fired if we left town for three weeks."

More than 150 protesters who lined the street outside the rally begged to differ.

"He had the decency to stand up and fight for what's right," said Jason Albertz, a paraprofessional for Green Bay Schools.

Hansen supporters say it's the Republicans, including Governor Scott Walker, that need to be recalled.

Protester Terry Shea says Hansen did the right thing.

"I support him because if he and the other senators hadn't left, we would not had time to read all 137 pages of the budget repair bill, and read the statutes that were connected to it and what was hidden," Shea told FOX 11.

Senator Hansen says he appreciates their support, but he remains focused on what lies ahead in Madison next week.

"I'm not going to be concerned about the recall or whether Senator Fitzgerald wants to come to Green Bay or someplace else in Wisconsin," explained Hansen. "I do appreciate all the support I have received and obviously that I received today as well. But our concentration now is dealing with the budget repair bill and ultimately the whole budget bill as we move forward."

The Senate is scheduled to re-convene for regular session on Tuesday.