Republicans may try to block Mayor Barrett running in recall election
By WTMJ News Team. CREATED Jan 2, 2012 - UPDATED: Jan 2, 2012
MILWAUKEE- The Journal Sentinel reports Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is seriously considering a run for governor and if he runs, Republicans might try to block him.
In the race for the governor's office in 2010, Scott Walker beat Tom Barrett by five points.
Last month when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced his mayoral re-election bid, TODAY'S TMJ4 asked him about running against Governor Walker in a recall election.
Tom Barrett: "I'm a proud candidate for mayor for the city of Milwaukee. I don't know what the future holds in terms of that election or any other election.
TODAY'S TMJ4: "So today you are saying you are not eliminating the possibility of running against the governor?"
Tom Barrett: "Today I am saying quite proudly that I am a candidate for mayor in the city of Milwaukee."
The Journal Sentinel reports that despite pleas from the teachers' union to sit out, Barrett is still interested in running. UWM Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee told TODAY'S TMJ4, "Mayor Barrett would be putting forth the message that if we do a rematch of the November 10 election, than it truly will be a referendum on (Governor) Walker."
Lee was asked by TODAY'S TMJ4 if he believes Mayor Barrett will run, Lee said, "yes."
Rick Baas of the Milwaukee County Republican Party says he's confident Governor Walker will win, especially if Barrett runs against him. "I think Mayor Barrett wants to run," said Baas. "It should be one of the 14 senators who fled the state to run against the governor."
But Baas argues if there's going to be a recall election based on the governor's collective bargaining law, he says Representative Cullen, who is interested in a run, would be a better opponent.
Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee says the ultimate decision about Barrett's run could be up to Republicans, who have some control over the date of a possible recall election.
"You can't run for two offices at the same time. If for some reason the recall election were to be on the same day as the regular April election, which would be the Republican presidential election, I don't think the mayor could run," said Lee.
TODAY'S TMJ4 reached out to Barrett's campaign office, but they did not respond to requests for an interview.