Republicans in governor’s race running TV adsBoth Republican candidates for governor are now running television ads with their primary contest still six months away.
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Both Republican candidates for governor are now running television ads with their primary contest still six months away.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's campaign unveiled its first TV ad Wednesday, touting his decision to give back part of his county salary to taxpayers.
The ad comes a couple weeks after Republican Mark Neumann started running his first ad. Earlier this week, Neumann unveiled his third ad of the season where the former Congressman takes aim at politicians.
Neither candidate mentions the others by name.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse political science professor Joe Heim says it’s rare for a Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate -- let alone two of them -- to take to the airwaves this early. Neumann started running ads to define himself in the eyes of voters before someone else does it for him, and doing so forced Walker’s hand, in Heim’s opinion. He adds Walker is aware that he’s ahead in the race, and doesn’t want to lose that advantage.
Heim says it’s a pretty clear sign this will be an expensive primary battle. If it gives the GOP candidates exposure, Heim says it could be a big help to whomever takes on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the likely Democratic nominee. He says sometimes it’s a big boost to win a primary, “but the winner can also be bloodied in a primary and the opponent can expose weaknesses the other political party can take advantage of.”
Barrett has not run any TV ads. Unlike Walker or Neumann, he doesn’t have a big name primary challenger to contend with.