MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday fought off a challenge by Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election, FOX News projected.
With 25.1 percent of precincts reporting, Walker had 60.8 percent of the vote to 38.6 percent for Barrett.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch also survived recall, according to FOX, with 59.2 percent of the vote to 40.8 percent for the Democratic challenger, Mahlon Mitchell.
Walker is only the third governor in US history to face a recall election. The two previous attempts were both successful, unseating California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and Lynn Frazier of North Dakota in 1921.
The Wisconsin recall was triggered by a backlash to a law Walker signed in March 2011, two months after taking office, that forced government workers to pay for more of their pension and health care benefits while also cutting most of their collective bargaining rights.
The race drew more than $60 million in spending by the campaigns and their allies, and it saw prominent politicians from both parties travel to the state to rally support.
The recall race also has turned Wisconsin from a state Barack Obama considered a sure bet for his re-election campaign into a potential battleground state. In 2008 Obama won Wisconsin by 14 percentage points, but on Monday, his campaign manager Jim Messina characterized the state as a tossup, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Wisconsin voters Tuesday also cast ballots in recall elections for four Republican state senators, in a race that could determine whether the GOP continues to hold on to control of the Senate, which it won in 2010.