Officially announcing his re-election bid Sunday in Waukesha, Gov. Scott Walker touted his administration’s record on jobs, workforce development, education and health care, but said there’s “more to be done” in asking voters to elect him to another four-year term.
“We’re not just satisfied with where we’re at. We’re ready to keep moving forward, because there’s more to be done,” Walker said.
Walker made his announcement at Weldall Manufacturing, where the campaign estimated 400 people attended to show support. Outside the facility, a large crowd organized by Voces de la Frontera protested. Many carried signs in support of immigration and refugees, and those that read ‘low-wage Walker.”
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning in a statement accused Walker of trying to reinvent himself as he seeks another term.
“Kicking off another campaign today, Scott Walker said that after seven years, he now wants to begin to focus on the rest of us in Wisconsin, but people don’t buy his latest ‘reinvented’ style,” Laning said. “It’s appalling that Walker has not been focused on all the people of Wisconsin all along. He had his opportunity, yet his actions have benefited the wealthy elite at the top while he left everyone else behind.
Among those speaking before Walker’s announcement were Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, state GOP Chair Brad Courtney, Walker’s sons, Matt and Alex, and his wife, Tonette.
Following Sunday’s announcement, Walker was to visit more than a dozen Wisconsin communities over the next three days to tout his re-election bid.
Walker said the state has now more people employed than at any time in the state’s history. And he highlighted initiatives designed to get more people into the workforce, including changes to welfare programs, such as drug testing.
Walker, referencing the $639 million Republicans put into the 2017-19 budget for K-12 education, said the state has made an “historic investment,” adding the UW System tuition freeze he advanced has made higher education more affordable for students and families.
Walker also highlighted property taxes that are to be lower in 2018 than they were when he was first elected in 2010, and noted that Wisconsin no longer has a state property tax.
“We actually got rid of an entire tax,” Walker said to applause.
Walker touted several other accomplishments, including the state going from the bottom 10 in business climate to the top 10, and the state’s top ranking for health care quality and high ranking for health care access.
Walker punctuated each accomplishment with the refrain,“We’re moving Wisconsin forward.”
But Walker said “there’s more to be done” and outlined his agenda as he asked voters from across the political spectrum to elect him to another term.
“We want a state where everyone shares … in our economic prosperity, whether you live in a big city or small town, from one end of the state to the other,” Walker said. “We want everyone to share in the Wisconsin comeback so that everyone can find, not just a job, but a career to support themselves and their families going forward.”
Walker also said he wants every child to have access to a great education, whether it be at a public school, private school, voucher school, charter school, home school or virtual school.
“Wherever it might be, we trust parents to make the right decisions for their sons and their daughters,” Walker said. “Not just for student success, but because we want to energize the next generation of the 21st century workforce here in Wisconsin.”
Walker said he also wants to continue boosting people’s income in the state, not just through better jobs and higher wages, but by allowing people to take more home through lower taxes.
He also pledged to continue efforts to make government more accountable and transparent.
He told attendees that while his re-election effort might seem easy because of his record, “the big government special interests in Washington have already made us a target.” He predicted tens of millions of dollars would be pumped into the effort to defeat him and Kleefisch.
“They look at our record over the past few years and they realize that we’re not afraid. We’re not intimidated to take on the big government special interests and take the power out of their hands and put it firmly in the hands of the hardworking taxpayers,” Walker said.
Read a WisPolitics.com interview with Walker: