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The voters speak, Sheila Harsdorf returns to Madison as state senator

State Senator Sheila Harsdorf, was interviewed by nearly every media outlet in the region including Tom Hauser from KSTP Channel 5. Her supporters are in the background for the live 10 p.m. news cast2 / 5
Jim Harsdorf, brother of State Senator Sheila Harsdorf, kept the waiting crowd updated on the incoming vote counts.3 / 5
State Senator Sheila Harsdorf give her brother Jim Harsdorf a hug before speaking to the crowd of nearly 300 supporters and over a dozen reporters and photographers.4 / 5
State Senator Sheila Harsdorf, addresses her supporters Tuesday evening at the Kilkarney Hills Golf Club.5 / 5

Incumbent state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf said her resounding win in the Tuesday, Aug. 9, recall election was not her victory, but a victory for the many thousands of people who refused to be influenced by outside special interest groups that she claimed financed her opponent Shelly Moore.

"This sends a strong message...What this election reaffirms is that people really wanted us to get our fiscal house in order," Harsdorf said, adding: "Obviously the nation is watching to see if we can be successful in taking on the special interests and reforming how government operates."

Harsdorf said special interest money in the Dist. 10 recall election between herself and Moore largely fueled the estimated $5.3 million in campaign expenditures.

Harsdorf said she was clearly outspent. She was told that there were door-to-door canvassers in the district who came from Oklahoma, Missouri and New York.

Harsdorf said the lesson from her election recall is that what she and Republicans stood for was backed by a majority of the electorate: Balancing the state's budget and creating jobs.

To those who opposed her, Harsdorf said she hoped everyone could "move beyond the divisiveness that began with the protests earlier this spring."

She reiterated her commitment to economic growth and fiscal responsibility, saying those are the "key challenges."

Harsdorf said her immediate plans are more simple and carefree: Have fun at this week's Pierce County Fair in Ellsworth.

"I pretty much live for the fair," she said. "It's also a great place to meet people and hear about the issues."

Asked whether she'll run again for another term in 2012, Harsdorf wouldn't say. "It's too early," she said. "The focus has been on the recall."

The final district total showed Harsdorf with 37,099 votes and Moore with 27,250.

The unofficial final results by county were:

St. Croix: Harsdorf, 18,064; Moore, 11,780

Pierce: Harsdorf, 6,014; Moore, 5,207

Dunn: Harsdorf, 2,377; Moore, 3,011

Polk: Harsdorf, 8,376; Moore, 5,833

Burnett: Harsdorf, 2,268; Moore, 1,419