Walker enters crowded Republican race

2015-07-13 19:03
Scott Walker. (AP)

Scott Walker. (AP)

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Madison - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced on social media on Monday morning that he's running for president, tweeting "I'm in."

Walker is a Republican who built a national profile largely due to his clashes with labour unions. He enacted policies weakening their political power and became the first governor in US history to defeat a recall election.

Now, on the eve of his campaign launch, Walker's task is to remind Republican voters about lesser-known triumphs he says set him apart from the crowded Republican field, which now numbers 15.

Walker cut income and corporate taxes by nearly $2bn, lowered property taxes, legalised the carrying of concealed weapons, made abortions more difficult to obtain, required photo identification when voting and made Wisconsin a right-to-work state.

Such achievements may appeal to conservatives who hold sway in Republican primaries, yet some could create challenges in a general election should Walker ultimately become the party's nominee.

"Ultimately Walker has to show all these victories and political successes have shown real results," said Democratic pollster Paul Maslin.

The labour dispute helped give him a significant head start in the 2016 money race.

Walker's three governor's races left him with a far-reaching donor database of more than 300 000 names. He shattered state fundraising records, collecting $83m for his three Wisconsin elections, much of it coming from outside the state.

He begins his 2016 presidential bid with at least $20m to spread his message, raised by two outside groups not subject to campaign finance donation limits, according to sources with direct knowledge of the fundraising operation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to publicly discuss private fundraising strategy.

Walker talks about how the 2011 union law saved taxpayers $3bn as of late 2014. While it's true that the state and local governments have saved roughly that amount, the costs have been shifted to the employees who have to pay more for those benefits.

Read more on:    us  |  us elections 2016

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