Gov. Scott Walker kicks off re-election campaign, calls for ‘grassroots army’

Gov. Scott Walker kicks off re-election campaign, calls for ‘grassroots army’

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is calling for an “army of grassroots volunteers” to combat what he says will be a coordinated attack against his re-election campaign by “big government” Washington-based special interests.

Walker officially kicked off his re-election effort with a rally Sunday before a couple of hundred backers at Weldall Manufacturing in Waukesha.

Walker said “we are moving Wisconsin forward” but there’s work to be done cutting taxes, making college more affordable, fighting opioid abuse and putting people to work.

Walker said he would campaign on the idea of shared prosperity for Wisconsinites.

“We want a state where everyone shares, everyone shares in our economic prosperity whether you live in a big city or a small town, from one end of the state to the other,” Walker said.

More than a dozen Democrats are either running or thinking of taking on Walker for the November 2018 election.

Political analyst and Marquette University Law School pollster Charles Franklin said no matter which Democrat faces Walker, the party and its nominee will have to find a message, this time around, that sticks with voters.

“The real question is, Democrats have lost three elections in a row to Scott Walker,” Franklin said. “What would they say this year to convince a small number of voters to change their mind against the governor?”

Franklin said Walker’s deal to bring Foxconn to Racine County could be a big issue during the campaign. He said recent polling has shown that many voters have doubts over whether the promised addition of 3,000 jobs is worth the $3 billion in incentives the state intends to provide the Taiwanese electronics corporation.

“I think that raises the question of whether the Foxconn deal has actually been the strong success that the governor’s messaging suggests that he thinks it is and whether that will end up being a potent issue against him,” Franklin said.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairwoman Martha Laning says no matter who the candidate is, Democrats will run and win on a message that Republicans have ignored working-class people to benefit the wealthy and special interests.

“It’s appalling that Walker has not been focused on all the people of Wisconsin all along,” Laning said. “He had his opportunity, yet his actions have benefited the wealthy elite at the top while he left everyone else behind.”

State Superintendent Tony Evers, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, also released a statement Sunday, criticizing Walker’s track record, particularly as it relates to the economy.

“Wisconsinites are sick and tired of Walker’s broken promises, divisive politics and unquestioning support of Donald Trump’s agenda,” Evers said. “I’m running for Governor to put an end to Trump and Walker’s relentless attacks on our families and values. I will take on the Madison politicians and restore the respect, trust and confidence we need to get our government working again.”

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside of Walker’s event. He plans more than a dozen similar events over the next three days.