WEST ALLIS (WITI/AP) -- Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker has defeated Democratic challenger Mary Burke, winning re-election to a second term.
Walker's win Tuesday, November 4th marks his third victory in four years. He won a first term in 2010 and a recall election in 2012 prompted by anger over a law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.
The win also keeps Walker in the mix for a potential 2016 GOP presidential bid, although he downplayed such talk during the tough re-election campaign against Burke.
She is a former Trek Bicycles executive and state Commerce Department secretary who argued that Walker failed the state and was too divisive.
But Walker prevailed by arguing that he turned around the state's economy while cutting taxes and wiping out a budget shortfall.
On Election Day, Governor Walker said he would leave nothing to chance -- taking a final lap around the state to encourage his supporters to vote.
Governor Walker voted Tuesday morning, November 4th in Wauwatosa.
Even though Republicans have been pushing supporters to vote early, Governor Walker said he prefers to vote on Election Day, so that he can see his neighbors and the community collectively participate in our democracy.
Tuesday morning, Governor Walker said he "feels good" about his chances. He said he believes he finished the campaign on a strong note.
Governor Walker likes to use sports analogies to make politics more relatable, and on Tuesday morning, he referred to his days as a high school track athlete.
"We've been energizing in the last few days out on the bus tour, trying to energize our supporters to run hard -- to run through the tape. I ran track in high school and we said 'you've got to run through the tape, not just to the tape,'" Governor Walker said.
"I think it's a little bit of everything. The Governor has done a really good job of making sure he's present in every part of the state. He's run a really focused campaign in every market. He's been to Wausau, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Madison -- he's done a lot in the last 10 days. Specifically, a really good job on his bus tour really speaking to everyone, and everyone hears all of the policies that he is for and all of the things that he will do in a second term," Alleigh Marre with the Walker campaign said.
Governor Walker rallied supporters at State Fair Park in West Allis on Tuesday night.
Governor Walker issued this statement on his General Election victory:
"Wisconsin is back on the right track, and we are better off than we were four years ago, but we are not done yet. In a second term, we will move forward with policies aimed at helping people keep more of their paychecks through continued property and income tax relief, helping people learn more to earn more through worker training, and helping move people from government dependence to true independence through work.
Our number one goal over this next term is to ensure that everyone who wants a job, can find a job. I thank you, the voters of Wisconsin, for the honor of allowing me to serve as your governor for another four years.
Wisconsin is back on!"
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefish issued this statement:
"I am very grateful to Wisconsin voters for tonight's victory. I'm humbled that Governor Walker and I have the privilege of continuing to lead Wisconsin's comeback in a second term. With another four years of continued investment in our economy, reducing our tax burden and helping people learn more to earn more, every Wisconsinite's future looks brighter.
Wisconsin is moving in the right direction and in a Walker-Kleefisch administration our state will continue to see the benefit of smaller, less intrusive government. I am honored to have earned the trust of Wisconsin and the opportunity to serve our great state for another four years."
The Republican Governors Association issued this statement on Governor Walker's victory:
“For the third time in four years, Wisconsin voters have rewarded bold leadership and the real results it yields; the state will continue to move forward under Governor Scott Walker,” said RGA Chairman Chris Christie. “Governor Walker is a doer; a true public servant who steps up to the plate, takes on the tough issues, and makes the hard decisions. He has done the things a good governor should do, and he will continue to take Wisconsin in the right direction in his second term. The Republican Governors Association is proud to congratulate Governor Walker on his re-election.”
Mike Tate, Chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party issued this statement on the election results:
“The results weren’t what we hoped for, but the people have spoken and we congratulate Gov. Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin on their victory tonight.
We also congratulate and thank Mary Burke for running a spirited, ideas-driven campaign that we can all be proud of. Against all the odds, and facing an influx of special interest cash and negative attack ads, Mary came much closer to victory than anyone could have predicted and did so with dignity and determination.
To all of you who have stood alongside us in this fight, I thank you for every door you knocked, every call you made, every dollar you donated, and every day you kept the hope alive for a better Wisconsin.
Today we lost an election, but tomorrow the hard task of governing begins anew for Scott Walker. And the fight for the progressive values we believe in will continue as we immediately begin planning for victory in 2016."
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