Wisconsin’s Republican governor Republic Scott Walker survived a recall election on Tuesday, which was forced by unions organising a petition to oust him from office.
He angered the state’s labour movement by approving a law last year eliminating collective-bargaining rights for public sector employees.
“Tonight, tonight we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country, and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders that stand up and make the tough decisions,” Walker told supporters.
Walker becomes the first governor in US history to win a recall vote, securing 53 percent of ballots cast to beat Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.
Conservatives claimed the win raises Mitt Romney’s hopes of beating President Barack Obama in November’s election.
They argue it reflects the deep concern held across the country over government spending and the state of the economy.
Aides close to the president downplayed the victory, pointing to the fact Obama won the state in 2008’s presidential poll by 14 percentage points.