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Student groups respond to Walker victory

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Photo courtesy of Kylli Paavola

Photo courtesy of Kylli Paavola

Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker was successfully reelected Tuesday night, earning roughly 53 percent of the votes over Democratic challenger Mary Burke.

“We thought more about the next generation than we did about the next election,” Walker said at his victory speech, after giving thanks to the troops overseas, whose contribution is “more significant than what we’re doing tonight.”

“In America you can do and be anything you want,” Walker said.

Nathan Craft, the political director at the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans, said Walker’s reelection is a chance for Wisconsin to continue moving forward.

“The reelection of Gov. Walker shows that the people of Wisconsin want to be for something and not against something,” Craft said. “Four more years of Gov. Walker means the Wisconsin comeback will continue, jobs will continue to be created and the education systems in Wisconsin will continue to improve.”

Walker said he will be focused on quickly passing a budget for the state, and is going to spend the next few months putting together a legislative agenda.

“The bottom line is people elected me to get the job done in Wisconsin,” he said.

Mary Burke began her concession speech with a quote from legendary Packer’s coach Vince Lombardi. “It’s not whether you get knocked down” she said, “it’s whether you get up.”

Burke continued that her 53 to 45 loss to Walker “feels a bit like getting knocked down.”

She thanked her supporters who worked on her campaign over the last few months and told them that while it was okay to be disappointed, it’s not okay to not get back up.

Burke told her base that while her gubernatorial campaign is over, the fight for women’s rights, a livable wage and affordable education continues.

“While the results weren’t what we wanted to be tonight, we are proud of Mary Burke and the work young voters did across the state,” said Aliya Manjee, President of the Marquette College Democrats.

Manjee believes that strong support for Burke from young voters is an important sign of things to come.

“The fact that voters under 29 supported Mary Burke 52-46 shows that young voters are progressive and want to see change across the state” she said.

The Wisconsin Governor’s race highlighted wide socioeconomic gaps among voters. According to Journal Sentinel exit polls, Burke held a 35 point lead of urban voters while Walker held a 11 point lead of rural voters and a 16 point lead of suburban voters.

Burke congratulated Walker on a “hard fought victory” saying that “anyone who runs for higher office subjects themselves to endless scrutiny and criticism, works incredibly hard and makes many personal sacrifices. For this he has my respect.”

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