Evers Speaks in Middleton

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MTT News's picture
Cameron Bren
Tony Evers, Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Governor was on hand Aug. 23 at the grand opening of the Middleton Democratic Headquarters.

MIDDLETON–A little more than a week after winning the Democratic nomination for governor, state superintendent Tony Evers spoke Aug. 23 at a Middleton Action Committee in conjunction with the reopening of the Democratic Party office in Middleton. The headquarters is located in the former Starbucks building at Frank Lloyd Wright and County Hwy M. 

Evers touched on the primary, what his priorities would be as governor and how he’s going to campaign against incumbent Governor Scott Walker. 

Assembly Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Democratic candidate for state treasurer Sarah Godlewski spoke before Evers at the event. 

Hesselbein announced that the Democrats have 92 candidates running in the state’s 99 districts. Hesselbein noted that 43 of those are women.

Godlewski reminded the audience that Walker has advocated for eliminating the state treasurer position altogether. Walker said he was voting ’yes’ to eliminate the position on a statewide in a referendum in April.

Godlewski said she led the “Save Our Fiscal Watchdog Committee,” which helped to persuade voters to reject the elimination with 61.75% in favor of keeping it. 

She believes the office should be fiscal watchdog that would audit things like the Foxconn deal. She added she would use investment authority of trust funds to help refinance student loan debt and be a fiscal advocate for consumer loans. 

Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton introduced Evers as the life of the party saying his hobbies include euchre and the polka, but more seriously, said he was the one to lead voters, “out of the wilderness.”

Evers opened acknowledging he was probably not many people’s first pick winning the primary with 41.8 percent of the votes. 

“I know there are at least one or two of you in this room that probably didn’t vote for me,” Evers said. He said he feels the race made all the candidates stronger, energized the base and he was, “proud to have their support.”

He said his campaign will focus on a progressive vision for the state rather than, “beating Scott Walker up.”

As governor, he said he would focus on investing in public education and the university system and improving infrastructure. He said he would also accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state. 

Evers announced his campaign had just raised a total of $1 million. But he said he will probably never catch up with Walker whose campaign reported raising more than $5.5 million in July. 

“We can beat him, but it is going to have to be retail politics,” Evers said.

Carol Jensen with the Middleton Action Team said her group formed during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential run and has been active since. The group does canvassing, phone banking and writes postcards. 

“We keep the energy up and I think people are really ready for this,” Jensen said. “So, we are looking to get Tony elected and the rest of the ballot.”

Jensen said her group was very mixed in who they favored for the democratic candidate, but she believes Evers has the energy, experience and likability to take on Walker.  

She said the fact that Evers’ campaign has already raised $1 million is a good sign.  

Jensen said she particularly likes Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, a former Assembly Representative from Milwaukee.

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