The two main candidates for governor meet face-to-face for a debate tonight.
Governor Scott Walker says he’s ready for the first of two debates in this gubernatorial election — though, he wouldn’t call it a debate. Walker says debates are too combative and he “doesn’t care for that.” He says, “My focus on Friday is going to be about having a conversation with the people of the state of Wisconsin. I think they deserve to hear from the candidates — not about what they dislike about the other candidate, but rather what they are going to do to make this state better over the next four years and that’s going to be my focus.”
The Republican governor predicts it’ll “be fun.” Walker’s not focused on attacking his opponent; instead, he says, when appropriate, he’ll “correct the record.”
Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Mary Burke — a first-time candidate for state office — hopes to highlight her plans for the state and contrast them with Governor Walker’s record. “My goal in the debate is just for folks to get to know me and my plans for leading Wisconsin forward.” Burke adds, “If I’ve been able to communicate that effectively, that will be, for me, a win.”
Walker says he had “one or two” practice runs leading up to the live broadcast. Burke can’t give a specific number, but says she’s “the type of person who believes in good preparation.”
Considering dueling TV and Internet ads on the subject as of late, abortion is likely to be a hot topic at the meeting.
The most recent Marquette University Law School Poll shows Burke trailing behind Walker by five points. A new poll is set for release on Wednesday.
This statewide debate, sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, takes place in Eau Claire at 7:00 tonight (October 10th). A second debate is scheduled for Friday, October 17th in Milwaukee.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:19