Democrat holds onto Wis. Senate seat in recall

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Wisconsin state senator has survived a recall election that gave voters the most direct opportunity yet to react to a Republican-backed law that stripped most public workers of their collective bargaining rights.

Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen defeated Republican challenger David VanderLeest with 69 percent of Tuesday's vote, with 65 percent of precincts reporting.

Hansen was among nine state senators set for recall elections amid the fallout from the bitter fight over legislation backed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Hansen and two other Democrats were targeted for fleeing the state to prevent a vote, while six Republicans are facing recalls for supporting it.

The stakes are high: If Democrats pick up a net of three seats, they'll retake control of the Senate and gain key momentum in their efforts to recall Walker next year.