Wisconsin Democrats landed their favored opponent for Gov. Scott Walker (R) as former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke jumped into the race Monday with an attack on Walker's record on job creation.
Burke paints herself as a problem-solving job creator and implicitly criticizes Walker for Wisconsin's ranking of 46th out of the 50 states for job growth.
"Just like Washington, our state capital has become so focused on politics and winning the next political fight, it's pulling our state apart and our economy down. But it doesn't have to be that way," she says.
Walker has beaten back Democratic challenges in the past, winning a high-profile 2012 recall election focused on a union-busting law he'd pushed through the Legislature. But Democrats are hopeful that Burke, who may be able to self-fund part of her campaign, can succeed by attacking Walker's business record; he promised to create 250,000 in the state when he won in 2010, and the state is on pace to create less than half that number by Election Day 2014.
The race will be a big test of Walker's political skill. He's indicated an interest in running for president in 2016 and will have to balance an appeal to swing voters in left-leaning Wisconsin with keeping the GOP base happy.
Watch Burke's announcement video: