Rebecca Kleefisch became the first Lt. Governor to win a recall election on June 5, 2012. They went after her for the same reasons they went after me: we did not back down from doing what was right. Even though she had to stand for election on her own during that recall, Lt. Governor Kleefisch won with more votes than we had gathered during the normal election less than two years earlier. Voters saw that our common-sense reforms worked - and they are still working today.
Since 2011, our reforms have saved the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin more than $15 billion. It is why we had a budget surplus during each of the eight years we were in office. But budget savings were just part of the benefits of our reforms.
We took power away from the big government’s special interests and put it firmly into the hands of the people. Today, those who are elected to run local governments are actually in charge, instead of the union bosses. That means they can staff based on merit and pay based on performance. Schools can put the best and brightest in the classroom and keep them there.
Radicals on the left went wild when we first proposed our reforms. Hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands came to the state Capitol. Eventually, some 100,000 protestors filled the Capitol and square. They followed us all over the state.
Unknown to most people, Rebecca Kleefisch was undergoing cancer treatments at the time. Two weeks before the September primary, she heard the words everyone dreads to hear: “You have cancer.” Rebecca was 35, married with two young daughters ages 4 and 7 at the time. They removed a massive tumor and half her guts. The first year was tough, but she is healthy now.
Rebecca was going through chemotherapy during the protests, yet she never missed a day of work. She was with us every step of the way as we enacted some of the most successful conservative reforms in the nation.
Now, Rebecca Kleefisch is running for Governor of Wisconsin.
Who better than a concerned mother, who sent her kids to public schools in Wisconsin, to lead the fight to take back our schools? Who better than a defender of law enforcement and the 2nd Amendment to lead the fight to clean up our streets? Who better than a conservative woman and cancer survivor to champion the right to life? Who better than a proven leader to protect the integrity of each and every vote? Who better than someone who works hard to make ends meet to balance the state budget? Who better than a jobs ambassador to get Wisconsin back to work?
Rebecca is a leader and a fighter. I first got to know her when she was on TV exposing waste, fraud, and abuse in government. Years later, she was one of the first public figures to get involved in the Tea Party movement.
Rebecca Kleefisch then took on the establishment and won the Republican primary over a candidate supported by nearly all of the Capitol insiders. We campaigned together and we won. Then, she was with me every step of the way as we took on the big government’s special interests. Even when she was fighting her own cancer, there was no better ally in the state Capitol than Rebecca Kleefisch. She is a committed conservative who does not back down from a fight.
While she is in good shape for the primary, the real battle is in November. A poll of Wisconsin voters taken after the state party convention shows that Rebecca Kleefisch has a more than 15-point lead over Tim Michels who has poured millions into running television ads. Previously, he lost an election for U.S. Senate in 2004. The Michels Company is part of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association which pushes for higher gas taxes and automatic increases in the gas tax. He made his fortune from government contracts.
Kevin Nicholson lost the primary for U.S. Senate in 2018. He does contract business work and was once the national College Democrats Chairman. His numbers in the poll barely reach double digits. The final candidate in the poll is state Representative Tim Ramthum whose numbers are around two percent.
Of all the candidates running for Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch is the only one who has won a statewide general election. In addition to winning with me on the ticket in 2010 and 2014, she won her own race during the recall in 2012.
Radicals on the left are already targeting her for the November election. They know that the race for Governor in Wisconsin will be one of the closest in the nation. And they know that Rebecca Kleefisch is a fighter. Even after cancer surgery removed part of her colon, she has more guts than any other elected official
- Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.