Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced today he will run for governor.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) certified a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch today.
Walker, a Republican, defeated Barrett, a Democrat, in the 2010 race for governor.
“This was not a decision I made lightly. I love this state and I care deeply about our future. That's why I ran for governor in 2010 - even though I knew it was an uphill battle. We ran a strong and energetic campaign fueled by your support and the support of thousands across Wisconsin. In the end, Russ Feingold and I both fell short in a Tea Party wave. But we can all take pride that we took the fight to Scott Walker, and the past 15 months have shown why that fight is so important,” Barrett wrote in an e-mail to supporters today. “Scott Walker came into the governor's office promising to create 250,000 jobs, and to bring us together. Instead, he divided our state like never before and presided over a Wisconsin economy that last year lost more jobs than any state in the country. He 'dropped the bomb,' as he said, and ended 50 years of labor peace and worker protections - something he never said he'd do during the 2010 campaign. I know, because I was there. As governor, I will fight to restore collective bargaining rights, because it's the right thing to do, and it's necessary to heal Wisconsin.”
Barrett said Walker “gutted” education, cut women's health, and diverted millions of dollars intended for Wisconsin victims of Wall Street foreclosure fraud to patch a hole in his budget.
“We need to bring our state back. Wisconsin needs a governor who is focused on jobs, not ideology; a leader committed to bringing our state together and healing political wounds, not pitting people against each other and catering to the special interests,” Barrett said.
Barrett will challenge Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk in the May 8 Democratic primary. The winner will take on Walker in the June 5 general election.
The Friends of Scott Walker communications director Ciara Matthews responded to Barrett's announcement with the following statement: “Under Mayor Barrett, Milwaukee has seen a dramatic increase in taxes and government spending, coupled with an astonishing loss of jobs. It is because of this dismal record, that Milwaukee has become the 9th poorest big city in the country. Tom Barrett's record of failed leadership as mayor of Milwaukee has twice been rejected by Wisconsin voters.”