Here is Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s statement on dropping out of the race for governor:
Tonight is special for me. Thirteen years ago (when I was the 5th district chair), I announced my candidacy for the State Assembly at this caucus. Many of the special people who helped me in that race are here tonight.
A year ago, I got into the race for Governor for three reasons:
Over the past year, Tonette and I traveled all across the state. From the blue hills of northwest Wisconsin, to the bluffs along the Mississippi; from the shores of Lake Superior to the top of Rib Mountain; from the plains of southern Wisconsin to the frozen tundra of Green Bay, we were re-introduced to the state we fell in love with so many years ago.
Along the way, we had some great help too. Over 10,000 donors helped us raise $1.5 million. Hundreds of great volunteers helped us hand out a half million flyers all over Wisconsin. And, with your help, we took on important issues like the repeal of the automatic annual gas tax increase and the need for ethics reform.
When Jim Doyle filed his report in January, it showed that his campaign raised as much money as was spent on his entire campaign four years ago. To defeat Doyle, our campaign would have to pick up the pace in fundraising. Specifically, we set a goal for a minimum amount we had to raise by the end of March to have a chance against Doyle in the fall.
Unfortunately, we did not hit that goal.
Looking at the numbers this week, it became clear to me that our fundraising totals would only allow us to run a campaign in a fraction of the 72 counties in this state. In addition, our resources would be so limited that most of it would likely be spent on ads attacking our Republican opponent, an un-appealing option for me, which will only bolster Jim Doyle’s re-election chances.
Then, even if we made it through the primary, our campaign would face an enormous challenge against the Governor. A campaign that does not focus on Doyle before the primary will almost certainly insure his re-election. To me, that outcome is unacceptable.
With this in mind, I regret to inform you that I am withdrawing from the race for Governor.
I give my full support and endorsement to my friend Mark Green.
Mark and I were both sworn in as members of the State Assembly in 1993. We worked on things like the Limit Excessive State Spending plan, Truth-in-Sentencing, patient privacy and many other important issues.
His son and our oldest son were born about the same time when we served in the Legislature and Sue Green’s parents live just east of where I grew up in Walworth County. Family is important in both of our lives.
I was honored to serve as a co-chair of the President’s re-election campaign with Mark and his campaign manager grew up just down the way from where we live in Wauwatosa.
Mark just learned of my decision today so he’s probably as surprised as many of you.
In the end, I love this state too much to see Jim Doyle elected to another term. This decision is made with the best interests of the people of Wisconsin in mind.
I want to thank all of our unbelievably great supporters – particularly the core of volunteers who stream in and out of our office as well as the extraordinary group of people who work on our paid staff. Thank you!
Most of all, I want to thank my family. My parents are always there for me and they are a constant source of inspiration to me and to our supporters. My father-in-law works harder than anyone I’ve seen before on a campaign. Even my 90-year-old grandmother attended a few of our campaign events. And my brother and his family in Arizona got into the act wearing Walker t-shirts and spreading the word during spring training.
Our sons Matt and Alex are a big help and a constant source of joy for me. And Tonette, this campaign reminded me why I fell in love with you the first place. You are a steady source of strength and I love you.
Early last year, we jumped into the race together after a great deal of prayer. I believe that it was God’s will for me to run. After a great deal of prayer during the past week, it is clear that it is God’s will for me to step out of the race. Now is the time to support Mark Green. It is our prayer that all of you who joined our cause will follow my lead and support him too.