ELKHORN — The race for Wisconsin governor is heating up in Walworth County, as incumbent Scott Walker urges local voters to help avoid “a drastic U-turn” in state government.
The Republican governor made a campaign stop Aug. 26 at the Walworth County Republican Party headquarters to address supporters and rally them to action.
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go backwards,” Walker told a crowd of about 50 people.
The two-term incumbent is seeking re-election in November in a contest with Democrat Tony Evers, the state’s education superintendent. Recent pre-election polls have shown a tight race, some with Evers ahead.
A small group of Evers supporters demonstrated outside Walker’s campaign rally in Elkhorn, waving signs in the storefront window as Walker spoke inside.
County GOP Chairman Chris Goebel pumped up the crowd before the governor’s address and told the assembled Republicans that voter turnout could be high in November.
In the face of what some Democrats have predicted will be a “blue wave” of Democratic victories, Goebel told the crowd they need to “build the red brick wall” for Republicans.
“We have to make a difference in Walworth County,” he said.
Some of those in attendance voiced confidence that Walker will capture his third term in November.
Supporter Rich Strohm of the town of Lyons said the incumbent should tout the potential benefits of the Foxconn economic development in Racine County and also his success at controlling taxes.
Strohm acknowledged that the race with Evers could be tight, adding of the governor’s campaign: “He does need to work even harder.”
Another supporter, Don Wiskowski of the town of Delavan, said Walker has kept his campaign promises to voters and just needs to “keep doing what he’s doing.”
“It’s going to be close,” Wiskowski said. “But we’re going to win.”
The crowd interrupted Walker with applause several times as he discussed the state’s economy, unemployment rate, public schools and efforts to help college graduates, the elderly and working families.
He briefly mentioned Evers by name, accusing the Democratic challenger of name-calling amid an environment of “anger and hatred” among Democrats.
“This, to me, is never personal,” Walker said. “This, to me, is always about whether we’re going to go forward.”