Burke Wins Primary; Makes History

Aug 12, 2014

Mary Burke at Daigle Brothers in Tomahawk
Credit WXPR news

Mary Burke became the first woman in Wisconsin's history to secure a major party nomination for Governor as she easily defeated fellow Democrat Bret Hulsey. Most experts had predicted an easy Burke victory Tuesday, and barring an unforeseen development,  will officially face Republican Scott Walker in November to compete to be the state's next Governor.

Burke stopped in  Tomahawk Tuesday.

She says people are leaving this region, and says in talking to people, three topics come up...

"......it's three main areas...one is around economics and jobs. The second one is around education. The third is around health. Those are the three issues I hear as I travel around the state in rural areas...."

Regarding the northern economy, Burke says keeping more young people in rural Wisconsin is key...

".....and when you look at the northern part of the state, over a long period of time like a decade from 2000-2012, the number of jobs contracted by 5 percent. That hurts the ability to support an aging population...."

Mary Burke
Credit WXPR

Burke says something has to be done with the aid formula which is hurting most rural schools. She says the state budget situation improved, but the money for rural schools didn't...

".....nearly 200 of the school districts, (around) 46 percent actually saw a cut in state funding. We have to address that. In rural areas, whether it's declining enrollment or whether it's the impact of vacation homes, making a district look more wealthy, it's our rural districts being hit the hardest..."

Challenger Burke and incumbent Republican Scott Walker are nearly dead even in a series of polls taken over the past several weeks. Walker was in Rhinelander on Monday.