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State Rep. Brett Hulsey will run for governor

Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio

State Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison, has announced he's running for governor, setting up a potential primary with fellow Democrat Mary Burke.

While some Democrats had hoped to avoid a primary this year, Brett Hulsey says Burke needs one. “She didn't have spring training,” he said. “She's playing more like the Milwaukee Bucks than the Milwaukee Brewers.”

Hulsey says he's running to win his race for governor, but even if he loses he says Burke would benefit.

“I hope she sharpens her game, but I think when people start seeing the real Mary Burke … politics is an eye test, and she doesn't look very good next to a real Democrat,” said Hulsey.

Hulsey says there's no mistaking where he stands. He wants to restore all the funding Gov. Scott Walker cut from education in his first budget, he wants to turn a proposed northern Wisconsin iron mine site into a state park, and he wants to overturn Walker's Act 10 collective bargaining law. His proposed repeal of Act 10 would include returning the higher pension and health insurance contributions public employees paid as a result of the law.

“That money was stolen from them, and if I have the votes to do it, I'll call a special session,” said Hulsey. “If I don't, I'll put it in the budget.”

Hulsey was first elected to the Assembly in 2010. He found himself at odds with other Democrats this past session after multiple incidents, including one where police said he flipped a nine-year-old boy off of an inner tube and took a picture of him. Hulsey said that he was set up – he only walked past the boy and the picture was of a sunset.

Hulsey would be forced to run a low-budget campaign. He says so far, that's meant shooting Internet campaign ads on his iPhone.

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