February 12, 2016

Democrats polling on possible Walker challengers

Wisconsin Democrats are conducting a poll to see whether Madison millionaire Mary Burke could be a viable candidate for governor next year.

The poll was made public Tuesday, after the State Republican Party filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board. The GOP accused the Democrats of breaking the law by not saying who was paying for the poll.

Mary Burke is the daughter of Richard Burke, the founder of the Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo. She held a number of positions in the company before serving as former Governor Jim Doyle’s commerce secretary for two years. She currently serves on the Madison School Board. Burke has never publicly said whether she would be interested in running for governor.

In a statement, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate said “with Scott Walker looking incredibly weak heading into 2014, Democrats are conducting a number of research surveys looking at the strengths of several potential strong challengers to the Governor. We are fully confident any research firms used are aware of and in full compliance with WI Law.”

While several names have been floated as possible contenders in the 2014 election, party leaders have indicated they plan to hold off on getting any official candidates out in the field until later. Tate has argued that it’s too early to expose a candidate to attacks from Governor Walker’s large campaign fund, with the election still more than a year away.

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