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Scott Walker celebrates his birthday as Wisconsin's Governor-Elect
By Eileen Mcguire-Mahony
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a conservative Republican who campaigned on paring down tax rates and spending, turns 43 tonight. And he will be celebrating as the incoming Governor in Wisconsin. In a nasty campaign that saw viciously personal attacks and stirred up deep divides over hot button social issues, Walker edged out Tom Barrett. The tone of the race left little doubt as to the animosity between the two and to the weight each party placed on the state.
Wisconsin now becomes a gubernatorial pick-up for the GOP, part of a mid-west sweep expected to pick up every state in the region, save Minnesota. Walker claimed 52% of the votes with nearly half of precincts reporting. Walker had led in polls through the race, contributing to Democratic anxiety that saw no less a figure than out-going Governor Jim Doyle donate $1.5 million toward attack ads.
Walker now takes charge of a $2.7 billion budget shortfall and an unemployment rate that doubled under Doyle's second term. Hopefully, he'll make time for a slice of birthday cake before he reports for work.