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Burke: campaign will be about jobs

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Democrat Mary Burke promises to make job creation a focal point of her campaign against Governor Scott Walker next year. The former state commerce secretary and Trek Bicycle executive held her first news conference yesterday afternoon after announcing her bid in a You-Tube video.

Burke ran the commerce department for two years before the Great Recession hit. Now she said Wisconsin is recovering a lot more slowly than most other states. Burke repeatedly pointed out that Wisconsin is the sixth-worst state in projected job growth. She said the state has 84,000 fewer jobs now than it did before the recession when she served under former Governor Jim Doyle.

Burke did not say what she might do to boost the economy if she's elected. She also made no promises about Walker's signature legislation which virtually ended most public union bargaining. Burke said she believes that collective bargaining is appropriate for public employees, but did not say if she'd try to repeal the law.

The Republican Walker said a few months ago that his campaign message would be the same with any Democrat running against him -- that the opposing party would take Wisconsin back to the days of high taxes, high deficits, and high unemployment. Yesterday, Walker said all those things about Burke.

It's not known whether Burke will have a primary opponent. Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout of Alma will decide early next year whether she'll run.