Political "star power" and the campaign for governor: Michelle Obama, Chris Christie in WI Monday
MILWAUKEE/HUDSON (WITI) -- Voters take to the polls in the November general election in a little over a month -- and on Monday, September 29th, both candidates for governor will welcome a "political celebrity" to the Badger State as the campaign enters its final push ahead of November 4th. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be in Hudson, Wisconsin with Governor Scott Walker, and first lady Michelle Obama will rally with Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke in Milwaukee.
Last-minute preparations were underway Sunday at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. That's where Michelle Obama will join Mary Burke Monday for a Milwaukee rally in the very close race for governor.
"We want to give the first lady a big Wisconsin welcome," Burke for Wisconsin Communications Director Joe Zepecki said.
Volunteers were busy Sunday at the Wisconsin Center -- setting up for the first lady's visit.
"There`s always a lot of set up -- little details big details. They`re handling some of the banners right now," Zepecki said.
Zepecki says a visit from Michelle Obama brings a burst of enthusiasm.
"People really love Michelle Obama. She`s a great first lady and she understands what`s at stake here in Wisconsin and this election," Zepecki said.
With the latest Marquette University Law School poll showing a statistical dead heat between Governor Scott Walker and Mary Burke, both sides are working to excite their respective bases, and win over the five percent of voters who say they're undecided.
Marquette University Professor John McAdams says this is the time when high-profile appearances become important.
"Michelle Obama does look like an asset. Those things add a little bit of star power to the campaign and get media attention," McAdams said.
Mary Burke was recently criticized by conservatives for not appearing on stage with President Barack Obama at Milwaukee's Labor Day rally. Instead, she met with him in private. Burke's campaign says President Obama will campaign with Burke in Wisconsin before November 4th.
"We`re happy to have the support of both of them. Very fired up for the first lady to be here (Monday). She`s got a lot of support within the city of Milwaukee and we need everybody who`s eligible to vote and wants to vote for a new direction to get out on election day," Zepecki said.
All of the tickets for Burke's event with Michelle Obama have been claimed. The doors open Monday at the Wisconsin Center at 2:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, two of the biggest names in the GOP will team up in Hudson, Wisconsin on Monday. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is headed for Wisconsin to campaign for Governor Scott Walker.
So many people are expected to show up to the GOP Headquarters in Hudson on Monday, they're holding the event outside and blocking off a parking lot.
Hudson, Wisconsin may seem like an out-of-the-way place for a major campaign stop, but located right on the border between the Dairy State and Minnesota, the people of Hudson say they're eager to be a part of the political discussion.
"We`re so close to Minnesota, we get their news. We don`t get the Wisconsin news," Hudson resident Monique Hall said.
When Chris Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate comes to town, locals take note.
"That`s a very famous person. We all seem to know who he is!" Hall said.
Christie is the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and previously campaigned for Walker in Wisconsin in 2012. Both will speak at a local manufacturer before headlining a big rally at the Hudson GOP Headquarters.
"I`m sure it`s going to appeal to the conservative masses, but I think for that audience it will be very encouraging," Hudson resident Debby Hines said.
FOX6 News caught up with Governor Scott Walker at a campaign stop this weekend in Waukesha, and he explained how this partnership with Chris Christie came to be.
"He offered. From our standpoint, he campaigned in the recall election and the first election - as did a whole bunch of governors," Governor Walker said.
Christie isn't without controversy. The so-called "Bridgegate" scandal is something the people of Hudson are aware of, but Governor Walker is shrugging off the naysayers.
"I don`t think in either case most swing voters are going to make a decision one way or another based on who`s in state, campaigning. They are going to look at our messages," Governor Walker said.
The event in Hudson is set to kick off at 12:30 p.m.