Scott Walker (politician) bigraphy, stories - Governor of Wisconsin

Scott Walker (politician) : biography

November 2, 1967 -

Scott Kevin Walker (born November 2, 1967) is an American politician and a member of the Republican Party who currently serves as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin. Walker took office on January 3, 2011, after defeating Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, obtaining 52% of the vote in the November 2010 general election. Walker had served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 2002 and then became County Executive of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, from 2002 to 2010.

Campaigns for Governor

2006 campaign

During his time as county executive, he entered the 2006 race for Wisconsin governor; becoming a candidate 21 months before the election, but dropping out after 14 months of campaigning, citing fundraising difficulties. He threw his support to fellow Republican Mark Andrew Green, who ultimately lost the election to the incumbent Democrat, Jim Doyle.

2010 campaign

Walker became an early favorite for the 2010 Republican Party endorsement for Wisconsin governor, winning straw polls of Wisconsin GOP convention attendees in 2007 and 2008. He announced his candidacy in late April 2009 after several months of previewing his campaign themes of reduced taxes and reduced spending to Republican audiences around the state. He criticized the 2009–11 Wisconsin state budget as too big given the slow economy. He won the Wisconsin GOP convention endorsement on May 22, 2010, receiving 91% of the votes cast by the delegates. Walker won the Republican nomination in the primary election of September 14, 2010, receiving 59% of the popular vote, while former U.S. Representative Mark Neumann garnered 39%. As part of his campaign platform, Walker said he would create 250,000 jobs in his first term through a program that would include tax cuts for small businesses, capital gains tax cuts, and income tax cuts for the highest-earning Wisconsinites. He proposed cutting state employee wages and benefits to help pay for these tax cuts. Critics argued that his proposals would help only the wealthy and that cutting the salaries of public employees would adversely affect state services, while supporters argued that tax cuts for businesses would reduce the cost of labor, which would ultimately promote consumer demand and more job growth. Walker indicated he would refuse an $810 million award from the federal Department of Transportation to build a high speed railroad line from Madison to Milwaukee, because he believed it would cost the state $7.5 million per year to operate and would not prove profitable. The award was later rescinded and split among other states.

Social issues played a part in the campaign. Walker has stated that he is "100% pro-life" and that he believes life should be protected from conception to natural death. He opposes abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. He supports abstinence-only sex education in the public schools, and opposes state supported clinical services that provide birth control and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases to teens under the age of 18 without parental consent. He supports the right of pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives on religious or moral grounds. He supports adult stem cell research, but opposes human embryonic stem cell research.

On November 2, 2010, his 43rd birthday, Walker won the general election with 52% of total votes cast, with his closest opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett, garnering 46%. His running mate, now Lieutenant Governor, was Rebecca Kleefisch, a former Milwaukee television news reporter.

2012 recall election

After the contentious collective bargaining dispute, Walker's disapproval ratings have varied between 50% and 51% while his approval ratings varied between 47% and 49% in 2011. The effort to recall Walker officially began on November 15, 2011., Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 15, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011.

Walker reportedly raised more than $30 million during the recall effort, with a significant portion from out of state. Commentators claimed the amount of money raised was "illustrating the national significance both political parties saw in the recall fight.", Wisconsin State Journal, December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011.

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