A look through Walker's tenure

Published On: Jun 06 2012 08:01:06 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 06 2012 08:00:34 AM CDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has become the only U.S. governor to survive a recall election, swiftly defeating his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The race is a big win for Republicans, who hope to carry the momentum they've gained in Wisconsin into the November election. But it's a blow for Democrats and labor unions who wanted to see him removed from office.

The recall was more than a year and a half in the making, and concludes months of bitter political division over Walker's aggressive strategy last year to strip most public union workers of collective bargaining rights to control the state budget. Protests as large as 100,000 swelled at the state Capitol, but despite the outcry, the bill was signed into law.

Since then, Walker has remained a rising national star while fighting the recall.

Watch how the recall movement was born in this series of photos that shows Walker's tumultuous term in Wisconsin and his victory.