Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he’s the underdog against Democrat Tony Evers but relishes the role.
Walker also said if he wins a third term, he will serve it out, and it will be his last as governor.
“As governor, back when I was county executive, I was always the underdog starting out there,” Walker said in an interview that aired Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“I just think it gives me a chance to focus in on the issues, get out and talk to people all across the state,” he said.
Walker said he is following the model of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s successful 2016 re-election campaign; he said Johnson’s television advertising delivered a “clear, crisp message” directly into the camera.
“It’s just me talking right to the voter,” Walker said.
He said the economy is the top issue in the 2018 campaign.
Walker said when he first ran in 2010, as the nation was reeling from a deep recession, jobs were the issue. He described an arc that’s gone from creating jobs to training the workforce to maintaining and expanding the workforce.
Walker said he needs a third term to “finish the job” and help keep high school and college graduates in Wisconsin, and recruit more workers like veterans to fill the jobs available in the state.
He also said technical and vocational training for prison inmates would be a focus for him in a third term. Walker said he has spoken with former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who is championing prison reform.
Walker said Evers would raise gas, income and property taxes and “take us back” to where things were in 2010.
Walker said he would welcome President Trump to come to Wisconsin to campaign for him, but no plans have been made for that. He said his campaign is working with Vice President Mike Pence to bring him back to Wisconsin to campaign.
“The president, as you can imagine, is in much higher demand,” Walker said.
Walker also said this will be his last campaign for governor.
“I’m thrilled to be running for governor,” Walker said. “I’m proud of the people of this state. I’m proud to be their governor.”
“I’ll be ready and excited after four years of that third term to pass the baton on, to hopefully a new generation, much better than we received it, “ Walker said.
In another segment, Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes vowed to deliver a “bold agenda” if he and Evers are elected in November.
“As a former lawmaker, I want to make sure that we’re pushing a very bold agenda once we come into office in January,” said Barnes, D-Milwaukee.
“It is important to not just get elected; we need to be effective. We need to make sure that we’re pushing, advancing the cause of expanding health care, advancing the cause of public education, protecting our environment,” he said.
“The time to be bold is now,” Barnes said.
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