State's largest healthcare union endorses Falk for governor

MILWAUKEE -- Democrat Kathleen Falk has announced she will run against Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a potential recall election. Falk has been endorsed by the state's biggest healthcare union, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and the state's teacher's union, WEAC.

During a statewide tour to announce her candidacy, Falk told supporters she is ready to take on Walker and his agenda. "Scott Walker will be on that ballot.  One Democrat will oppose him.  I'm here today to ask for your support to be that candidate. Gov. Walker has torn us apart.  He has pitted one against another," Falk said.

During the forum, the former Dane County Executive addressed plans to boost education and public transit.  She also touted her experience in public service. "I have balanced a budget 14 years in a row, far longer than Gov. Walker.  I know how to do it, and I do it by listening to people. Walker's way hasn't worked.  We've had six months in a row of straight job losses.  We need a governor that will bring people together," Falk said.

"It seems like the state's going in the wrong direction and Kathleen wants to reverse that," Falk supporter Gregory Gregory said.

In response, the Republican Party of Wisconsin says Falk's campaign will not be enough to win over votes. "Falk has a career as a government lawyer suing businesses and raising taxes to benefit her special interest union backers who put her there, so it's really no surprise that Wisconsin voters rejected her for two failed attempts at statewide offices," Republican Party Communications Director Ben Sparks said.

Walker's campaign also released a statement on Falk's announcement, saying: "Governor Walker is ready to contrast his positive record with the Democrats` failed policies of the past and looks forward to hearing from Democrats like Kathleen Falk on how they would have balanced a $3.6 billion budget deficit."

Secretary of State Doug La Follette and State Senator Kathleen Vinehout have also filed papers to run in a potential recall election.

State election officials are still in the process of verifying that roughly 540,000 signatures were submitted on petitions seeking Walker's recall from office. Once that is done, an election will be scheduled if there are enough signatures to trigger one.