LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The race for the governor's seat has officially begun.
Gov. Scott Walker kicked off his campaign Tuesday by announcing his bid for re-election across the state, including a morning stop in La Crosse.
Walker took the stage at the Kwik Trip Distribution Center, standing with his family and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch as both announced the start of the long road to November. In tow were supporters, staff and Walker's record from his first term in office.
"Over the last couple years, we had to make some pretty tough decisions," Walker said. "The good news is those decisions paid off, and today Wisconsin is better because of it."
In his announcement, Walker touched on Wisconsin's health care and unemployment under his leadership. But Tuesday's main focus, similar to that in accounting offices across the country on Filing Day, was taxes.
"I'm proud to say today that taxes are going down," Walker said. "We set out a course that now has allowed us to help you the hardworking taxpayers by reducing your burden by some $2 billion since we've taken office."
According to UW-La Crosse political science professor Joe Heim, Walker has made tax cuts a primary concern while in office.
"They've cut property taxes, income taxes, tax rates have changed, withholding has changed a little bit," he said.
Halfway across the state, democratic candidate Mary Burke responded to news of Walker's announcement from Wausau, where she was in the midst of a manufacturing tour of Wisconsin.
"Walker's game plan is failing," Burke said. "To give out-of-state corporations tax breaks and tax breaks to those at the top, and think that somehow that trickles down and creates jobs just isn't true."
Wisconsin is still more than six months away from Election Day, but experts warn to expect the mudslinging to begin - if it hasn't already.
"It's going to be a long campaign," Heim said.
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