Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) may be the most experienced campaigner of all of the potential Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race.
According to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report published last weekend, if Walker pursues the White House, it would be his 14th campaign in 25 years and eighth campaign in the last 13 years.
“He is the proverbial perennial candidate, though unlike many who pick up that label, he almost always wins,” the newspaper’s Craig Gilbert wrote. “The 47-year-old Republican began running at an earlier age and has run more often and won more elections than any of his potential presidential rivals.”
Walker, who recently surged to “co-front-runner” status in the presidential race, ran his first campaign for office in 1990, when he was 22, and won his first race when he was 25, according to the report. In addition to serving as governor, he has served as a state assemblyman and Milwaukee County executive.
His campaign experience contrasts sharply with a number of his likely primary foes. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was first elected to office in 2012 and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was elected two years before that. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and author popular among conservative activists, has never held public office. According to the Journal Sentinel, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is the only 2016 contender who has held elected office longer than Walker.
Walker also has a number of recent high-profile electoral battles under his belt. Upset over his plan to curb the influence of public-sector unions, national labour unions launched an all-out effort to recall Walker in 2012, just two years into his first term. He also faced competitive gubernatorial races in 2010 and 2014.
“In short, Walker’s claim to be ‘battle-tested’ has a lot of truth to it,” Gilbert continued. “Since 2009, he has been running an almost uninterrupted political campaign. And now he will need all of his campaign experience, know-how and good fortune to keep his winning streak at the ballot box going.”
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