MADISON -- After organizers of the recall effort against Governor Scott Walker announced Thursday they've collected half a million signatures in 30 days, and they expect to meet the minimum amount of signatures required to trigger a recall election, the biggest unanswered question is, who would run against Governor Walker in the potential recall election?
Since the recall effort was launched, a lot of names have been floated - some voters are familiar with, and others they're not. Former Senator Russ Feingold has said he won't be running, and retiring Senator Herb Kohl doesn't seem interested. State Representative Peter Barca's name is being thrown around, along with State Senator Jon Erpenbach, and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. Another name that's been mentioned is that of Wisconsin Firefighters Union President Mailon Mitchell.
Marquette Political Science Professor John McAdams says name recognition will be important when selecting a candidate. "Virtually no Democrat who's actually in the race has any substantial statewide name recognition. The relatively good news for the Democrats is, you raise a lot of money, you can get a lot of name recognition," McAdams said. McAdams says Democrats are likely looking for someone without baggage, and he says that's more important than charisma. McAdams says whoever it is, they'll be running as the anti-Walker, and he predicts it'll be a tough fight.
The Democratic Party won't speculate on a potential candidate at this time. "Right now we're focusing on Scott Walker, and I think there's no reason to give Scott Walker any opportunity to change the subject and try to tear down whoever runs against him until we absolutely have to," Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said Thursday.
Governor Walker says whoever the candidate may be, he's staying focused on the job at hand. "My focus is today and will continue to be in the future on a campaign that's not based on signatures, but on a campaign to help the state create 250,000 jobs," Walker said.