APPLETON – A Democratic candidate for governor visited the Fox Valley Monday morning. Mary Burke talked to small business owners in downtown Appleton.
Robert Wall and his wife opened Green Gecko Grocer and Deli in downtown Appleton nearly four years ago. Wall talked to Burke about his experience.
“The challenges of small businesses over the past several years and what it really took to open up our small business here,” said Wall.
Burke is a former commerce secretary under Governor Jim Doyle and currently sits on the Madison school board. She is expected to challenge incumbent Governor Scott Walker in November.
Walker promised to create 250,000 new jobs by next year, but so far, he’s only created 107,572. Burke says in ‘a month or two,’ she’ll explain how she would do better.
“I want to make sure that this is a great plan that has been vetted, that we have the best people working on it,” said Burke.
Burke says her conversations with small business owners will influence her plan.
“They’re the ones who when our economy is not creating jobs, feel it in their business every single day,” she said.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin is constantly calling on Burke to explain her jobs plan. No one would answer questions Monday, but the party’s press secretary, Jesse Dougherty, issued a statement to FOX 11.
It said, in part: “Wisconsin can’t afford to go down that same failed path again, which is the only place Mary Burke would take us.”
FOX 11 asked Arnold Shober, a government professor at Lawrence University, if it’s common for a candidate to hold back on a major election issue.
“It’s a bit unusual that she doesn’t have something ready to go at this point,” said Shober.
But Shober believes it’s not too late for Burke to outline her plan. He says many people in Wisconsin don’t pay too much attention to election races until the summer.
“Burke’s challenge is to not look unprepared. At the moment, the Republicans kind of have the ball in their court here, to say that she doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing,” he said.
Burke also talked about why she supports raising the minimum wage in Wisconsin. She says it would help the economy.
Governor Walker opposes an increase. He’s said in past interviews, a higher minimum wage would “kill jobs.”