Mark Neumann has had a curious history vying for Congressional seats as a political candidate. In 1992, Neumann ran for Congress against career politician Les Aspin, but he lost by a sizable margin. When the Clinton administration appointed Aspin to Secretary of Defense, however, Neumann saw an opportunity and ran for Congress again. As misfortune would have it, he lost against contender Peter Barca. In 1994, when Aspin's term ended and Baraca had to run for reelection, Neumann ran for Congress again, this time beating Barca and securing his Congressional seat. And finally in 1997, Neumann tried to unseat Russ Feingold in a bid for Senate. He lost and has not run for office since.
The campaign history of Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker may not be as interesting, but it has certainly been fraught with political success. In 1993, Walker won a Wisconsin State Assembly seat to represent the city of Wauwatosa, and four times successively, he continued to win reelection bids. In 2002, Walker won the open seat election for Milwaukee County Executive and has won every reelection bid since. In 2006, Scott Walker announced he would run for governor against Jim Doyle, but he withdrew his nomination once he had learned he did not have the financial support of his party.
There has been a lot of conjecture concerning the gubernatorial matchup between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and business man Mark Neumann. Walker has an overall campaigning history of winning elections, even in Milwaukee, whereas Neumann's run for office has marked by a constant struggle and sometimes a failure to clinch political victories. History aside, however, many anticipate that the matchup will be a tough primary battle.
After building a campaign website and filing his paperwork, Mark Neumann made it clear he intends to challenge Scott Walker in the race for governor. On Neumann's campaign website, he touts his private sector experience saying,
I am a small business owner who understands job creation drives our economy, and I'm running to attract jobs back to Wisconsin.Neumann also said,
I think that private sector experience, understanding what it takes to sit at a table and negotiate a business agreement that both sides are happy with at the end of the day, those are the skills that we need, right now, leading this state to bring the jobs back."
It is expected that Neumann will continue to utilize his business credentials as a political boon over Walker who, unlike Neumann, has minimal employment experience in the private sector.
Scott Walker, however, has a few armaments of his own. He has administered seven consecutive budgets with a $0 tax levy increase from each previous year in Milwaukee County. Walker as reduced the annual debt flow for Milwaukee County by 36% from a previous administration. And Walker has demonstrated an authentic fiscal conservatism by assuming a personal pay cut, which saved Milwaukee County taxpayers $300,000 since his first year in office.
Despite being a Milwaukee official, Scott Walker appears to have won the political and financial backing of his party. He enjoys the support of 150 current and former Republican party officials and 48 Assembly and Senate GOP legislators. He will need all the footing he can get to challenge the omnipotent fund-raising machine of governor Jim Doyle.
Mark Neumann, however, is wealthy and has recourse to a personal treasure chest. He may not be able to lean on the buttress of his party, but he is resourceful and dark horses can typically find the support of an opposing party. During last year's primaries, Republicans didn't hesitate to support Hillary Clinton, and I suspect that Mark Neumann will find himself in the temporary graces of liberal bloggers and pundits. This, of course, only lasts until the primaries are over. The local media isn't exactly exempt from this phenomenon either. We've already seen how WISN Television and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel can distort their coverage of Scott Walker for the aggrandizement of a news story. It will be an interesting election to watch, and the Hispanic Conservative will keep a critical eye on the media coverage of the Walker campaign.