Defeated Democrats Unite Behind Barrett in Recall Fray
With Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett tapped by voters as their candidate to remove Gov. Scott Walker from office, his Democratic primary opponents rallied behind him Wednesday creating a unified force hoping to take the governor's office.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett — now the Democratic nominee to challenge for the state’s top office — said he would be worried about the fact that Gov. Scott Walker received nearly as many votes in Tuesday’s recall primary as all four Democratic candidates if not for a show of solidarity Wednesday.
Barrett cruised to an easy victory Tuesday night in the Democratic primary, defeating Kathleen Falk 58 percent to 34 percent.
On the Republican side, Walker garnered more than 620,000 votes, nearly as much as all four Democrats in the primary and the most in 60 years of Wisconsin gubernatorial primary history, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
With just four weeks before Walker and Barrett face off in a historic recall on June 5, Falk, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout and Secretary of State Doug La Follette joined Barrett Wednesday at a press conference in Milwaukee to show they are united in the fight against Walker.
“We are unified with a singular purpose, and that is to elect a new governor of the state of Wisconsin,” Barrett said.
Falk said she asked her supporters to give the same energy they gave her campaign to Barrett’s over the next four weeks.
“We are united as a team, as a team across the state,” Falk said. “Our goal for the last 15 months has been to make sure we recall Scott Walker. In 28 days, together, we are going to do that.”
28 days to the finish line
In November 2010, after incumbent Jim Doyle chose not to run for re-election, Walker defeated Barrett with 52 percent of the vote to become the state’s 45th governor.
When asked how this year's campaign, or him as a candidate, differs from the race two years ago, Barrett said: "2010 is not 2012 and I think the major difference is that people now have an understanding of Scott Walker's divide-and-conquer approach to government.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the next 28 days," Barrett continued. "This is largely a referendum on Scott Walker and his failed leadership. What we are going to focus on over the next 28 days is trying to help this state fix itself."
Barrett added with the united Democratic front, he'll have his allies' ideals and support on his side.
"(Walker) is the rock star of the far right," Barrett said. "And he will continue to amass huge amounts of money, but at the end of the day, we will have a ground game that will match it."
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairperson Mike Tate said at Wednesday's press conference that get-out-the-vote events are on docket as the general recall election draws closer.
“We, as a campaign, and as a party, are focused like a laser beam on making sure that the people, who may have took a chance on Scott Walker in 2010 and now really regret it, get out and cast their votes for Barrett," Tate said.
GOP exudes confidence
Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Wisconsin said Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch's campaign is stronger than ever and enthusiasm is growing. Party Political Director Tom Dickens said in a statement Wednesday Walker's campaign has made 2 million voter contact calls since January.
"This important milestone surpasses the total number of voter contact calls made by Republican volunteers in the 2010 election cycle, when Republicans saw historic electoral gains and record turnout," Dickens said. "With hundreds of new volunteers joining our grassroots campaign each week, the momentum on our side is building rapidly and our volunteers are energized to give their time and talents in support of Gov. Walker and Lt. Governor Kleefisch."