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Political scientist: Burke gets early start in Governors race

Madison School Board member and former Trek Bicycle Executive Mary Burke.
Madison School Board member and former Trek Bicycle Executive Mary Burke.

MADISON (WRN)  It had been widely anticipated that Millionaire Mary Burke would be a Democratic candidate for Wisconsin governor; but, Political scientist at Marquette University Charles Franklin says without an announcement it wasn’t official. “Now with the announcement, that clears the picture for other potential candidates; as well as kicks off the race over a year ahead of time, making this one of the longest running gubernatorial campaign in a while.”

Franklin says, based on her three-minute YouTube video announcement in which she emphasizes her business background and Wisconsin roots, Burke plans to tout her extensive resume during her gubernatorial campaign. That resume includes private sector success at her father’s Trek Bicycle company as well as job creation while serving as commerce secretary under Governor Jim Doyle.

Franklin says that will be contrasted with Governor Scott Walker’s record of creating jobs, which has had some success, but fell short of his own goal of 250,000 new jobs. “Either way I think we’re likely to see both sides emphasizing jobs and job creation. And undoubtedly we’re going to see the biggest dual over statistics of job creation in the nations history.”

Burke is wealthy enough to fund her own campaign, especially against keen fundraiser Governor Walker — the presumed Republican candidate. Walker has reported raising approximately $3.5 million in campaign donations in just the first half of this year. Franklin says we’ve seen a recent shift to self-funded campaigns, especially among non-incumbents who are forced to rely on more of their own money. He says politicians already in office do a fine job of raising plenty of money.

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