Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker kicked off his re-election campaign on April 15 with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, appearing in a series of rallies in the state.
Walker, in a news release from the campaign, said four years ago the state "was in bad shape and it seemed like our best days were behind us. Taxpayers were strapped with a $3.6 billion deficit after years of double-digit tax increases and runaway government spending and over 130,000 Wisconsinites lost their jobs and some 27,000 businesses turned out their lights."
The Republican claimed that since taking office his administration has balanced the budget, eliminated the deficit and "turned it into a $911 million surplus."
He also claimed that on his watch "more than 100,000 jobs have been created for moms, dads, grandparents and graduates and nearly 17,000 new businesses are contributing to a growing Wisconsin economy."
The governor, in his formal announcement, focused on economic issues and did not refer to his right-wing attacks on labor and collective bargaining, voting opportunities and reproductive freedoms or his defense of anti-LGBT measures.
Walker’s detractors, on Tax Day, said the governor's budget claims are distorted, that his tax plan was a gimmick and that he can't come close to fulfilling his campaign pledge to create 250,000 jobs in his first term.
Democratic candidate Mary Burke responded to Walker's official re-election announcement saying that the state, under the Republican, "is falling behind."
"In job creation, we are 35th in the country and second to last among Midwestern states. Worse still, we are one of the worst in the country in new business starts.
"Walker's game plan has failed. Giving tax breaks to out-of-state corporations and those at the top is not how you create hobs. And it's not how you grow the middle class."
Burke said she created jobs at Trek Bicycle, where she was an executive, and has "a real plan, 'Invest for Success,' for how as governor I will grow jobs and strengthen the middle class.”