- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - If it felt like Gov. Scott Walker didn’t spend much time in Wisconsin after announcing his run for president, it’s because he didn’t.

Walker’s official calendar released to The Associated Press under the state’s open records law shows he spent one day in July in Wisconsin on official business after launching his presidential candidacy July 13. Walker also spent the majority of August and September on the road campaigning, although his calendars showing what official events he attended in Wisconsin have not yet been released.

Wisconsin’s governor began his presidential campaign with great fanfare in front of thousands of supporters in Waukesha, after traveling the country and raising money as a candidate in everything but name only for six months before that.

Walker spent the 10 weeks that his campaign lasted extensively traveling the country, with a heavy focus on the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Despite rarely being in the state, Walker insisted that he was in constant contact with his staff and legislative leaders. The calendars show he had daily 15-minute conference calls scheduled with his executive staff, but no other meetings are noted.

Walker abruptly quit the race last week 70 days after it officially began, promising to spend more time in Wisconsin to rehabilitate his image with voters. His favorability ratings were at an all-time low of 39 percent in a Marquette University Law School poll released in August.

“The bad news is the campaign is over,” Walker told Assembly Republicans on Thursday. “The good news is I’m here all the time.”

Speaking to reporters Friday for the first time since quitting the race, Walker said his strategy between now and when his term ends in 2017 was to “be there.”

“I think all of us know in a relationship you can say all you want, but the best way to make that case is to be there,” Walker said.

His calendar, released late Friday, shows that he wasn’t in Wisconsin much after his presidential run officially began.

On July 20 he returned to attend a meeting of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and tour the grounds of the Experimental Aircraft Association convention, both in Oshkosh. Before the board meeting that day, Walker also held a ceremony to sign into law a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Walker made an unplanned return to Wisconsin five days later, on July 25, to visit the family of Carson Holmquist, a Marine killed at a Navy-Marine reserve center in Tennessee. Walker had originally planned to be campaigning outside Wisconsin that day, but canceled his events to attend Holmquist’s visitation in Grantsburg.

In terms of other official business in July, Walker’s calendar shows he was scheduled for a 30-minute conference call to be briefed three days before the WEDC board meeting, and twice reserved 30 minutes to record his weekly radio address.


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

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