Wisconsin Dems pick education chief to face Walker

Wisconsin Dems pick education chief to face Walker
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) will face state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers (D) this fall, after Democrats picked Evers out of a crowded field of eight candidates in Tuesday's primary.
 
With 34 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Evers, who's serving his third term in statewide office. Evers held 39 percent of the vote, ahead of firefighters union president Mahlon Mitchell, who came in second with 24 percent.
 
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The Democratic primary had been a low-key, low-spending affair, marked mostly by Evers's name recognition while the other candidates struggled to earn voters' attention. Only four candidates — Evers, former state Rep. Kelda Roys, Mitchell and former state Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn — could afford to run paid advertising.
 
Evers likely spent almost everything in his campaign account just to get past the crowded Democratic field.
 
Now, he faces Walker, whose campaign war chest was stocked with nearly $6 million at the end of June. Walker won reelection in 2014 by running millions in early advertisements, and he is likely to try to flex his political muscle again this year, now that he has an opponent.
 
"Scott Walker has delivered results and traveled the state tirelessly to share his vision with the people of Wisconsin, and now he’s built a campaign to win," said Brian Reisinger, a senior Walker adviser.
 
Democrats do not plan to let Evers go undefended. The Democratic Governors Association has purchased $4 million in television airtime to give Evers cover, and the state Democratic Party has brought on Tom Russell, former Sen. Russ Feingold's (D) former campaign manager, to help wrangle donations from the party's big donors.
 
"We will absolutely be able to run a well-funded campaign throughout the general election period," state Democratic Party spokesman T.J. Helmstetter told The Hill.
 
Two public polls conducted in recent weeks show Evers leading Walker. The most recent Marquette Law School survey, considered the best in-state poll in Wisconsin, found Walker leading by a slim 48 percent to 44 percent margin in June.