Democrat Seeks to Oust Walker in Wisconsin

Monday, 07 Oct 2013 04:23 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Wisconsin governor's race heated up Monday as former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke announced she would seek the Democratic nomination in a bid to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive, said in a web video:

"Helping to turn my family's business into a global company has been a big part of my life. Now I'd like to help make our great state of Wisconsin even better as your governor."

In her announcement, reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Burke said Wisconsin needed a change in leadership, although she didn't mention Scott by name.

"Just like Washington, our state capital has become so focused on politics and winning the next political fight, it's pulling our state apart and our economy down," she said.

Republicans quickly went on the attack.

"A vote for Mary Burke is a vote to take Wisconsin backward," Joe Fadness, executive director of the state GOP, told the Journal Sentinel.

"Burke was part of the team that left Wisconsin with a $3.6 billion budget deficit, big tax hikes, and massive job loss — a mess that was fixed by Gov. Scott Walker."

Walker, a rising Republican star, is said to be mulling a run for the 2016 GOP nomination for president.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Walker would be tough to beat.

"The reality is that running against Walker will be no small task, for several reasons. For starters, he’s already survived what looks to be the worst of the backlash against him," The Post wrote.

"His law curbing collective bargaining for public employees triggered widespread anger among organized labor, and was responsible for a slate of state Senate recall elections in 2011 and an effort to expel Walker from office in 2012. But he survived, winning by a greater margin than when he was first elected in 2010.

“Secondly, it’s historically been pretty difficult to unseat incumbent governors in Wisconsin. They have won more than 70 percent of the time."

Related story:

Walker ignores order to close parks

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