Democratic governor’s candidate makes her case in western Wisconsin
More than 60 devoted area Democrats gathered at Paddy Ryan’s Irish Pub in Hudson on Sunday, Dec. 1, to hear Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke deliver a stump speech for an election still 11 months away.
Burke, daughter of Trek Bicycle founder Richard Burke, formally announced her candidacy to unseat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in October. Election Day is Nov. 4.
When St. Croix County Democrats co-chairman Roy Sjoberg introduced Burke, he explained how Walker has fallen well short of his goal of creating 250,000 jobs in the state, and that Burke’s experience would make her a better job creator than the current governor.
But Burke said there wasn’t a single driving force behind why she decided to run for governor.
“It’s multifaceted, because Wisconsin has so much potential, and there are so many ways we can create jobs and improve lives for people in Wisconsin,” Burke said. “Education certainly is one area where now we’re headed on a path toward a statewide voucher program, which drains funds from our local neighborhood schools and has absolutely no accountability around improving student learning.”
She also mentioned “weakening of our environmental legislation” and “the assault on women’s freedom to make their own healthcare choices” and “voting rights” as key issues she will campaign on.
“I’d say that there are a lot of important areas that are critical to Wisconsin’s future,” Burke said.
For most people in the room, it was the first chance to meet Burke and hear her speak.
In addition to working as a Trek executive, Burke also served as Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce under Gov. Jim Doyle.
The backbone of Burke’s campaign is built on her business and commerce secretary experience, but she also is proud of work in the nonprofit sector, including helping establish an organization dedicated to helping children become the first members of their family to attend college.
“Whether it’s in the private sector, whether it’s as an entrepreneur, whether it is in government, or a nonprofit in education, these are all issues I have taken on and have brought people together,” Burke said.
For the full story, please see the Dec. 5 print edition of the River Falls Journal.