ByÂ DAVID CATANESEÂ | Politico
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the 2010 DemocraticÂ nominee for governor in Wisconsin,Â said Friday he willÂ seek a rematchÂ in the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker.
“I will be a candidate for governor,” he said in rare Friday evening statement designed to ride the wave of media coverageÂ focusing on the recall certification.Â “This was not a decision I made lightly.Â We need to bring our state back.Â Wisconsin needs a governor who is focused on jobs, not ideology; a leader committed to bringing our state together and healing political wounds, not pitting people against each other and catering to the special interests.”
Barrett’s announcement answers the final looming question that was hanging over Democrats ahead of theÂ May 8 primaryÂ and ensures a potentially messy battle with former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk.
Just last week, Falk asked Barrett toÂ support her bid noting that she worked hard for him in 2010 but “he fell short.”
A Democratic source said that public request irritated Barrett andÂ onlyÂ reinforced his decision to move forward.
The Republican Governors Association went up with a pair of ads Friday targeting Falk and Barrett’s records and a statement by the Wisconsin GOP lambasted Barrett’s “disastrous path” in Milwaukee.
Barrett’sÂ decision drops on the sameÂ day the Wisconsin Government Accountability BoardÂ unanimously certified the recall election for June 5.
The other two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination are Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.
An NBC/Marist poll released Friday showed that voters are split on Walker’s first 15 months in office, with his approval-disapproval rating divided at 48 percent.
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