With a potential recall election months away, an independent candidate has declared he will join the race for governor.
In two ads aired locally before and after the Super Bowl Sunday night, Brookfield physician and kidney specialist Hariprasad “Hari” Trivedi announced his intentions to run as an independent candidate in the possible recall election against Gov. Scott Walker.
“This is a serious campaign, and I’m going to win,” Trivedi said, adding he does not want to sound “bombastic.”
Trivedi said he decided to run because he became disillusioned with the current partisanship at the Capitol and decided to do something about it. He added he is running as an independent so he can focus on the issues, since politicians often align themselves not with ideology but with the party.
He said his main focus is on job creation and improving education, adding a serious gap exists between the skills employers need and the skills employees have, which needs to be addressed.
“We need to think outside of the box,” Trivedi said. “That’s a key distinction between me and the other candidates.”
Trivedi said Wisconsin needs to better develop its agriculture because the state has a prime climate and the world population is growing, creating a demand for more food.
He also said Wisconsin should focus on developing its tourism industry.
Trivedi is currently running a self-financed campaign but said he will probably have to accept campaign donations in the future. Running his Super Bowl ads in Milwaukee cost him $17,000.
Dennis Dresang, University of Wisconsin political science professor, said candidates commonly need to have some kind of base or party to run for office, and a complete independent winning the governor seat without party backing is unusual.
He added the recall election is different, and Walker already has 1 million people who are planning to vote against him.
“An independent candidate is either going to need to take voters away from Walker or from a Democratic candidate, and that’s a major issue,” Dresang said.
Dresang said in order for a gubernatorial candidate to get enough media time to make a name well known to the voting public, he or she generally needs to spend about $3 or 4 million.
The only Democrat currently running against Walker is former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.