Saturday, March 25, 2006

Walker Bows Out of Governor's Race

It is with deep regret that I have to report that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has announced today that he will drop out of race for the governorship of the state of Wisconsin. This is not the sort of news I wanted today. Not that it has been a bad day or anything. I just happen to have a lot of things to work on this weekend, including my review of ‘V for Vendetta’ which should appear online this Monday and a new viewpoint article I’m developing for this Tuesday’s edition of the Marquette Tribune. That aside however, I don’t know how to feel about this. On bright side, this puts to rest the fear I (and many other conservatives of this state) had that the GOP of Wisconsin would become as divided as the DNC was following the 2004 presidential primary.

I am not however one-hundred percent convinced that Mark Green can pull off a win as easily as Scott Walker could have. Two counties are key – Madison and Milwaukee. While Green doesn’t necessarily have to win both of them, he does however need to win at least forty-five percent of the vote in those areas. Milwaukee County would have been a shoe-in for Walker. Green is less known (or less trusted) in Milwaukee County so it will take some strong campaigning on the part of Wisconsin Republicans (more so then if Walker had won the primary) to do just that. Additionally, Walker who pulled in a substantial number of Reagan-Democrats with him in winning the County Executive’s office was seen as less divisive then Green would be.

Walker’s withdrawal from the race at this point can only serve to help Green and the Wisconsin GOP in general, not hurt them. Green is able to save up desperately needed campaign contributions (and build up more in the coming months) to do battle with sitting Governor Jim Doyle (who has nearly twelve million dollars in campaign donations - teacher unions, trial lawyers, Indian casinos and the like) as we draw ever closer to November 2006.

I am not particularly happy with Mark Green (the ethanol issue, as well as others, have me a bit wary of him), but anything is better then Jim Doyle at this point. I’ll support Mark Green (I will not be as actively campaigning for him as I would have for Walker though) and I will certainly vote for him, but it is going to take time before I am entirely convinced of him. I am sure in time things will work out. Bottom-line: Walker, while it was disappointing to hear from him, did the classy and smart thing by bowing out of the race this early rather then have it drag out even further and wasted valuable campaign contributions in the primary.