Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) has made it official — he’s running against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) in this summer’s recall election.
“We need to bring our state back,” Barrett wrote in an email to supporters. “Wisconsin needs a governor who is focused on jobs, not ideology; a leader committed to bringing our state together and healing political wounds, not pitting people against each other and catering to the special interests.”
Barrett lost to Walker in the 2010 election, 52 percent to 47 percent.
But to face Walker again he will have to defeat former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk in the May 8 Democratic primary. Falk has the support of union leaders, who have been protesting Barrett’s events.
Falk and Barrett also faced off in the 2002 gubernatorial primary. Both lost to Jim Doyle.
“Under Mayor Barrett, Milwaukee has seen a dramatic increase in taxes and government spending, coupled with an astonishing loss of jobs. It is because of this dismal record, that Milwaukee has become the 9th poorest big city in the country,” said Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews in a statement. “Tom Barrett’s record of failed leadership as mayor of Milwaukee has twice been rejected by Wisconsin voters.”
The Republican Governors Association is already running ads attacking Barrett.