Milwaukee County Executive and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker announced Wednesday a former chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin and a state legislator are now endorsing his campaign.
Rick Graber, who was chair of the RPW from 1999 to 2006 and served as ambassador to the Czech Republic under President George W. Bush, and Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, are the latest Republicans to throw their support behind Walker, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Walker campaign.
Along with Graber, the statement said six former RPW chairs have come out in support of Walker.
In the Legislature, Walker has the support of more than 75 percent of Republicans, including former Assembly speaker Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, and current lieutenant governor candidate Rep. Brett Davis, R-Oregon, according to the statement.
“Scott is continuing to get overwhelming support from across the state from other groups that will announce as the campaign progresses,” Walker campaign spokesperson Jill Bader said in an e-mail to The Badger Herald. “It says a great deal that every former state party chairman is behind him.”
Bruce Pfaff, spokesperson for Republican candidate for governor and former Congressman Mark Neumann, said the news of Walker’s latest endorsements does not really affect their campaign, as every candidate likes to publicize their support.
“Every campaign has endorsements; they’re almost a perfunctory [announcement] you will see,” Pfaff said.
In regards to Neumann’s campaign supporters, Pfaff said the time is not yet right for the campaign to release the list. He added Neumann is focused on getting his message to the people and reviewing the issues.
On the side of the Democrats, newly declared candidate Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also has yet to publicize any endorsements for his campaign, but this does not mean he does not have support, according to Barrett campaign spokesperson Jeff Fleming.
“We will have numerous things to announce, but it’s fair to say we have gotten an enthusiastic reaction from every prominent Democratic leader we have talked to,” Fleming said.
Fleming added the campaign will make more formal announcements on endorsements and campaign progress in the coming months.