TOMAHAWK, Wis. (WXPR) -- Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke stopped in the Northwoods Wednesday to say she's concerned about the trends in rural Wisconsin as she campaigns for Governor.
She says people are leaving this region, and says in talking to people, three topics come up. "It's three main areas. One is around economics and jobs. The second one is around education. The third is around health. Those are the three issues I hear as I travel around the state in rural areas."
Regarding the northern economy, Burke says keeping more young people in rural Wisconsin is key. "And when you look at the northern part of the state, over a long period of time like a decade from 2000-2012, the number of jobs contracted by 5 percent. That hurts the ability to support an aging population."
Burke says something has to be done with the aid formula which is hurting most rural schools. She says the state budget situation improved, but the money for rural schools didn't. "Nearly 200 of the school districts, (around) 46 percent actually saw a cut in state funding. We have to address that. In rural areas, whether it's declining enrollment or whether it's the impact of vacation homes, making a district look more wealthy, it's our rural districts being hit the hardest."
Challenger Burke and incumbent Republican Scott Walker are nearly dead even in a series of polls taken over the past several weeks.
Walker was in Rhinelander on Monday.