There was little disagreement to be had between the two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor, as they met Friday in their first debate before the September primary.
In a debate broadcast on Milwaukee’s WTMJ radio, former Congressman Mark Neumann and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker shared similar takes on several issues, such as how to create jobs, cut spending, and deal with immigration issues.
The only real friction came when discussing Neumann’s proposal to let keep their 2011 property taxes if they agree to begin making monthly payments. Walker called the plan a “tax shift” that would do nothing to cut government spending, and would delay the ability of homeowners to claim property taxes on their income tax returns. Neumann defended the plan, saying it’s actually a tax cut because taxpayers get to keep the money.
On immigration, the two candidates agreed that the Attorney General should have been able to file a lawsuit supporting an Arizona law that’s being challenged by the federal government.
Walker and Neumann also renewed calls to do everything in their power to stop plans for a high speed rail line in southeastern Wisconsin, if elected.
When it comes to which candidate is positioned to defeat Democrat Tom Barrett in the general election, Walker says he’s better equipped to handle the problems facing the state based on his experience as Milwaukee County Executive. Neumann pointed to his private sector experience as a business owner in creating jobs and managing a payroll, along with his time in Congress.
The candidates are scheduled to meet in two more debates ahead of the September primary.