Burke offers thoughts after gubernatorial loss

Burke offers thoughts after gubernatorial loss
Mary Burke

One week after her loss to Gov. Scott Walker, Democrat Mary Burke is talking about her run for statewide office.

Speaking at the Democratic party offices in downtown Madison, Burke said she would not seek statewide office again, and is still deciding on another run for school board. She said she’s spent the last week decompressing from the grueling campaign.

“It’s been a little less than a week and certainly the first day was just getting some sleep and decompressing from that,” Burke said.

Burke said since election night, she’s been reflecting more on what went right in her campaign for governor than what went wrong. She said part of what led to the loss was turnout, but said she’s not disappointed that people didn’t come out to the polls for her.

“I don’t think about that,” Burke said. “We need to engage people and make sure we are engaging in a way that people feel it is important to get out and vote. We did the best job that we could possibly do so no, I’m not disappointed.”

Responding to statements from the governor and legislative leaders that voters resoundingly support their agenda, Burke said she did not believe the GOP has a mandate.

“I think that it was a message that overall they are supportive of his leadership and that is the message,” Burke said. “I don’t think that it is a mandate and frankly some very extreme positions are not ones that people in Wisconsin support.”

Burke said she does not envision herself a Democratic power player in the future, and doesn’t plan on taking part in discussions on any changes in the state party.

“I’m not going to run for statewide office again,” Burke said. “I certainly am looking seriously at running for school board again, and I need just a month or so to finalize that and am certainly leaning heavily toward that. But I wasn’t political to begin with and I will certainly help support good candidates who are running but I don’t plan to be involved.”

Burke said she doesn’t regret mounting a campaign against Walker in the end, and said it was never about a lifelong political career.

“I got into this driven by a call to duty, to make sure the voters of Wisconsin had a choice and someone who could mount a competitive campaign,” Burke said. “I put everything into it that I could, worked my hardest and built up a great team. I think we ran a great campaign and I’m satisfied with that.”

As for what else she may do beyond the school board, she said she plans to still be involved in the Avid Tops program in the Madison Schools, as well as the Burke Foundation based in Milwaukee.