Wisconsin Sen. Pam Galloway, one of four GOP state senators facing recall elections, said today she's resigning to deal with health issues in her family, effective at midnight.
The recall elections were prompted by the lawmakers' support for a law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.
A spokesman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Galloway's resignation has nothing to do with the recall election. He said her family has been dealing with a health issue for a few months.
Galloway's departure will leave the state Senate with an even 16-16 split between Republicans and Democrats, although the Senate wrapped up its legislative session yesterday and isn't scheduled to reconvene again this year.
Meantime, Fitzgerald, who is also facing recall, and Democrat Mark Miller, the minority leader, will lead the chamber together. However, there is no precedent for breaking a tie in the Wisconsin Senate. Committee rosters will be changed to be equally divided.
The recall election against Galloway will still move forward but her name won't appear on the ballot, said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board.
Democratic state Rep. Donna Seidel had already said she would challenge Galloway in a recall election, preliminarily scheduled for May 8 (unless more than one candidate runs from one party, then the May 8 vote would become a primary and the general election would be held on June 5).
"It doesn't change my plans," Seidel said of Galloway's planned resignation.
The other two senators facing recall are Terry Moulton and Van Wanggaard. The GAB has until March 30 to review signatures on recall petitions against Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.