Kathleen Falk first candidate in Wisconsin recall race

at 01:31 PM ET, 01/18/2012

The recall election against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) won’t be official for months, but one Democrat has already declared her candidacy. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk launched her bid Wednesday.

“Yesterday, the grassroots movement that began a year ago made history,” she said in a YouTube video sent to supporters. She says she “traveled around the state doing all I can to help the signature-counting” and that “together, we will continue to make history.”

Falk ran for governor in 2002 but lost to then state attorney general Jim Doyle in the primary. She also ran and lost the race for attorney general in 2006. Falk stepped down from her post as Dane County Executive in 2010.

“Statewide voters have already twice rejected Falk’s out-of-touch, big-government ideas, and this year will be no different,” Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Cox said in a statement.

Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews added in a statement that Falk was “hand-picked by big-government, public employee union bosses.” Falk has deep ties to the labor movement in the state and is expected to enjoy strong support from union leaders.

While she may be Republicans’ current target, Falk is unlikely to be the only Democratic candidate in the race.

State Sen. Tim Cullen committed to running before the recall signatures were even filed. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker by five points in 2010, is considering a bid. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, Rep. Ron Kind, former Rep. Dave Obey and state Sens. Jon Erpenbach and Kathleen Vinehout are all potential contenders. So is Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin.

 
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