A fundraising rally for Republican gubernatorial candidate and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker hosted on the University of Wisconsin campus Monday was missing a key featured guest.

The drive took place at Library Mall, where a table run by Students for Scott Walker was set up with information and signs in support of Walker. Rep. Phil Montgomery, R-Green Bay, was scheduled to appear and help increase support for Walker but failed to show up.

Nick Novak, chair of Students for Scott Walker, said he was not sure where Montgomery was or why he did not come to the rally.

Calls made to Montgomery’s office were not answered as of press time.

Despite Montgomery’s absence, Novak said the rally went very well and garnered a lot of student support for Walker.

Walker fundraising rallies occurred at more than 12 universities around the state Monday in an effort to raise funds and solicit support through the Internet and social media outlets, Walker spokesperson Jill Bader said.

Walker previously competed against Gov. Jim Doyle in the 2006 gubernatorial race but dropped out due to insufficient campaign funds, according to Bader. As a result, Walker started campaigning early in this race.

Bader added the campaign aims to show people they can get involved in multiple ways, such as volunteering to knock on doors and make calls, donating money or simply signing up for the mailing list.

“For the first quarter of fundraising period, we raised over $1.1 million. And 75 percent of the contributions were for $50 or less. It shows so many different people are willing to give small donations, but more importantly, these are the people who will really help campaign,” Bader said.

Novak, a Walker supporter since April, said he thinks the state is heading in the wrong direction and Walker is the candidate who can put Wisconsin back on the right track. He added he thinks promoting Walker through rallies and smaller campaign efforts is really important and can make a difference.

Walker also hosted a conference call Monday outlining his ideas for improving the state’s economic condition and preparing university students for life after graduation

“We have to value the UW System more. I will provide incentives for people and students who want to stay and work in Wisconsin after graduation. We have to find ways to avoid brain drain, but in order to do that, there must be more jobs here in the state,” Walker said.

In response to Walker’s campaign efforts, Bruce Pfaff, spokesperson for Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Congressman Mark Neumann, said Neumann’s campaign won’t be concerned with rallies but rather the issues themselves.

“Mark is focusing on what’s important to the people in Wisconsin: getting the economy and jobs back on track,” Pfaff said. “Rallies are nice, but the fact of the matter is this is about jobs and people’s livelihood.”

Pfaff added Neumann’s campaign will continue to build support but will also center on listening to citizens and pushing to help the economy.

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