Local political groups prepare for gubernatorial elections
Posted at 11:30 p.m. 11-10-09
With the 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial election less than a year away, political groups on campus have begun speculating about the different campaigns ahead.
Seniors Bobby Hamill, chairman of the UW-Eau Claire College Republicans, and Armon Tabrizi, member of the Eau Claire College Democrats and Wisconsin Democratic Party, weighed in their opinions on the significance of the races to come.
“We’ve had Governor Doyle in office for about eight years now and I think a lot of Wisconsinites are seeing that we need change,” Hamill said. “It’s going to be important to see if we vote for that change.”
Tabrizi agrees this coming race will be critical for Wisconsinites.
“It’s going to be extremely significant, especially in times like this,” Tabrizi said. “We’ve seen how important it is . having a governor that understands budgets and policy. It’s as important as the president of the United States concerning particular Wisconsinites.”
A Republican’s take on the race
Hamill thinks the biggest topic that needs to be addressed during the upcoming election is the state’s economy.
“We have a huge budget deficit and right now Governor Doyle has just been covering it up or barrowing money to make it look like he’s balancing the budget,” Hamill said.
In Hamill’s mind, it is essential for whoever gets elected to be ready to take care of these economic issues in the state.
“I think we need someone who is actually going to be able to produce a balanced budget and start making some spending cuts before it has to be done, without raising taxes,” Hamill said.
Mark Neumann and Scott Walker are both strong candidates from the Republican side, Hamill said. Neumann was a former U.S. Representative, a business owner and is considered to know the state of Wisconsin well.
Walker is the Country Executive of Milwaukee and is known for balancing budgets and cutting spending in Milwaukee, Hamill said.
“Scott Walker in Milwaukee County is really the only republican county-wide that has been elected,” Hamill said. “That’s a good sign because he has bipartisan support from both democrats and republicans. I think that would really help out as governor.”
A Democrat’s take on the race
Tabrizi thinks it is still somewhat early in the race to predict what the most important topics will be, but he thought those issues will really depend on who the candidate is.
“Barbara Lawton, although she’s not running anymore, really wanted to reinvest in education,” Tabrizi said. “I thought that was great.”
In Tabrizi’s opinion, the last few regimes in the state’s government didn’t do as much for education as they could have. He would like to see it become a focus of anyone who becomes elected.
“I hope that whoever the governor is will look at higher education as a priority again,” Tabrizi said. “It has not been looked as a priority recently, and I have faith that the Democratic Party has a candidate that will actually follow through with that pledge.”
With Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Barbara Lawton dropping out of the race, there is currently no clear candidate that has emerged for the Democratic Party.
Tabrizi stressed, however, it is still very early in the election, and it could be until February before some of the candidates surface.
“I would not be surprised to see two or three very viable candidates emerge from the Democratic side, so it will be interested to see how that goes,” Tabrizi said.
Hamill and Tabrizi both agree it is going to be important for college students to get out and make sure their voice is heard, regardless of whom they support.
“We saw a great student turnout during the last elections in 2008, and we don’t want students to just start waiting and not voting anymore,” Hamill said. “We want students to look at the state and where it’s at . and ask them to go to the ballet boxes, if they want, to vote for change again.”