April 20, 2014

Nickles ponders run for Petri seat

Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickles is considering a run for the Sixth District Congressional seat being vacated by Representative Tom Petri. “I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody in the city that government and politics is what I love most in life, and everyone knows that ever since I was a young boy I wanted to be president of the United States,” said Nickles, who was became on of the nation’s youngest-ever mayor when he was elected at age 22 in 2009. “It’s not surprising that when an opportunity makes itself available, that I would look at the options that I have in front of me.”

Nickles, a Democrat, said he was ” a bit shocked” when Petri announced he wouldn’t seek another term. He reiterated that running the city is his top priority but admits a door has opened to explore what he calls “an amazing opportunity.” Nickles said he’ll make a decision “very soon.”

Also on Friday, state Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) confirmed that he’ll make an announcement regarding entering the race. If he does, he’d join fellow state Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and state Representative Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).



Walker stops short of committing to full second term

walkerreportersGovernor Scott Walker doesn’t appear to be committing to serve his full term if reelected. In Madison on Wednesday, the Republican governor was asked whether he’ll commit to serving his full four-year term if he’s reelected this November.

“I’m committed to run for governor again. I ran four years ago because ultimately I saw that this state wasn’t headed in the right direction,” Walker said following remarks to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

AUDIO: Governor Scott Walker :45

Walker is mentioned as a potential candidate for president in 2016. “Between now and November 4th I’m going to talk about what I plan on doing in the next term, and stay focused on that” said Walker, who formally launched his campaign for reelection this week. “I love being governor, and I’m committed to being a good governor going forward.”

Walker faces Democrat Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive and state commerce secretary, in November.


Burke responds to Walker campaign launch

Governor Scott Walker launched his reelection campaign on Tuesday, and his Democratic opponent says she can do better. With the Republican incumbent falling well short of his original pledge to create 250,000 new jobs, former commerce secretary and Trek bicycle executive Mary Burke said the state is falling behind.

“Wisconsin we know is 35th in job creation in the U.S., and out of 10 midwestern states we’re ninth,” Burke said. “Worse yet is we’re near the bottom in terms of new business startups.” Burke said Walker’s “game plan has failed,” and she’ll improve access to capital investment to help existing businesses grow, and provide support for small businesses.

She said she’ll also deliver a less partisan message than Walker. “It does not have to be the type of partisan, divisive environment that Governor Walker has created,” she said. “The people of Wisconsin believe that we do our best work when we come together, and that’s the type of governor I’m going to be.”

Burke said she’s the only one in the race with actual business experience – pointing out that Walker has been a career politician.


Walker launches re-election bid (AUDIO)

Gov. Scott Walker

Gov. Scott Walker

Citing the creation of over 100,000 new jobs in the state since he took office, the nearly $2 billion in tax cuts passed by the Legislature, and a UW tuition freeze, Governor Scott Walker began making his case this morning for another four years as governor.

Walker officially announced his re-election bid during a rally in Dane this morning at a manufacturing plant. The Republican touted the progress made to “turn around” the state during his first term in office, saying “over the last few years we’ve had to make some tough decisions…but the good news is they’ve paid off.” Walker says he’s not done yet, and he wants his second term to focus on efforts to “reduce the dependency on government and increase the dependency on hard work and personal pride.”

AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker

Walker faces a challenge from Democrat Mary Burke, a former state commerce secretary and executive at the Trek Bicycle company. In statement from her campaign, Burke said “Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin is falling behind. In job creation, we are 35th in the country and second to last among Midwestern states. Worse still, we are one of the worst in the country in new business starts.”

Walker pledged during his 2010 campaign that he would help the state create 250,000 jobs during his first term. It’s a promise Walker is expected to fall short on fulfilling and one Democrats are likely to hit him on along the campaign trail. Walker did not mention the pledge Tuesday while kicking off his re-election effort.

Walker was joined by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who also announced she is seeking another term.

Congressman Petri makes it official

Tom Petri (Photo: WHBY)

Tom Petri (Photo: WHBY)

A long time Wisconsin Congressman has formally announced he will not seek reelection this fall.

U.S. Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) made it official Monday, during a town hall meeting in Neenah, that he’s stepping down after more than three decades representing parts of eastern Wisconsin is the state’s 6th Congressional District. Petri said “sooner or later, you either are booted out, die, or retire and I figure 35 years is a pretty good start…no time is perfect, but this is a pretty good time.”

Petri’s office revealed last Friday that the longtime lawmaker was going to retire at the end of his current term. The news came with Petri facing at least one primary challenge from state Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who announced a run earlier this month. State Representative Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) announced over the weekend that he’s entering the race. State Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) is also considering running for the seat.

Petri would not say if the challenges from within his own party played a role in his decision, noting that “any decision to retire involves a hundred and one different considerations. There was no particular one thing that was worth singling out over others.”