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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order scheduling special elections to fill two vacant legislative seats Thursday, as Senate Republicans abandoned their efforts to pass a bill blocking the contests amid intense criticism that the GOP was trying to avoid adding to string of losses.
The seats have been vacant since December, when Walker appointed two Republican legislators to his administration. Walker has said the special elections would be a waste of taxpayer money with the seats coming up for election in the fall. Democrats have argued that Walker wants to avoid losing the seats to their party in a year that appears to favor Democrats.