Wisconsin Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk has been touring the state on her “Your Voice, Your Wisconsin” campaign. Falk entered the race shortly after 1,000,000 signatures were turned in to the state’s Government Accountability Board to demand the recall of Governor Scott Walker last month.
Yesterday, Falk picked up a major endorsement from the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). The endorsement came after union members had a democratic vote on the matter. The endorsement comes from a group that has been under attack from by Right in Wisconsin for over a decade:
Mary Bell, a teacher and WEAC president, said the recommendation is the next step in the movement that began nearly a year ago. “Wisconsin educators have been at the forefront of this movement ever since the first attack on worker rights was leveled nearly a year ago,” she said.
“Today, we take the next step. WEAC’s candidate recommendation adheres to a democratic process that involves members and leaders from across the state. There have been many strong advocates for Wisconsin families who have stepped forward as potential candidates but we believe in the democratic process guided by the issues our members care deeply about, and that’s what this recommendation represents.”
While the support of WEAC is important to any candidate, Wisconsin Democrats may need a candidate who can make a big fundraising push as Scott Walker has already amassed a $12 million dollar war chest, much of which has come from out of state. During a stop in Green Bay, Falk spoke about fundraising to a group of residents who came out to meet her.
Falk says she can’t raise as much money as Gov. Walker has for this election. According to Walker’s campaign, he’s raised more than $12 million in the last year. “He is spending his time out of state raising money from literally Texas billionaires and Missouri millionaires and New York millionaires, instead of here in Wisconsin working for us,” Falk said of Walker.
While Falk won’t be able to match walker dollar for dollar, Falk says she is confident she’ll match him voter for voter and win.
The endorsement is a major score for Falk’s candidacy, but the full process of candidate selection has not yet begun to gain steam. That may be out of caution or it may be the result of a weak field. Several other candidates are likely to enter the Democratic primary, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s 2010 opponent, who is currently running for another term in his current office but hasn’t ruled out a run. No big name candidates like Russ Feingold or Herb Kohl have entered, so Wisconsin Democrats are relying on the unpopularity of Walker who must take to the campaign trail amidst an ongoing FBI investigation which has implicated that he was aware of illegal activities during his time as County Executive.