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WATCH: Walker touts economy in Hudson; critics cry foul

HUDSON — Scott Walker’s re-election tour stopped Wednesday in Hudson, where he was greeted with a heavy dose of fanfare and a smattering of opposition.

After receiving introductions from the state’s Republican party chairman, the lieutenant governor and his sons, Gov. Scott Walker bounded to a podium inside Empire Bucket where he rallied supporters behind his campaign for a third term.

“Together, we are moving Wisconsin forward,” the Republican governor told the group of about 70, borrowing from his campaign slogan. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Walker touted record employment growth in the state since he took office in 2011, along with economic development on the horizon in the form of the Foxconn project taking shape in eastern Wisconsin.

“They could be anywhere in the world,” Walker said of Foxconn, a company seeking $3 billion in tax breaks in return for a $10 billion investment in the Racine area. “They chose the state of Wisconsin.”

The speech, preceded by a private visit with Empire Bucket officials and others, touched on a host of talking points  — his budget’s K-12 funding injection, tax relief, a University of Wisconsin-System tuition freeze and an effort to stop opioid addiction — that drew applause from Walker’s supporters.

“We’re part of a Wisconsin comeback that we haven’t seen in quite some time,” said Walker, who did not take questions from the media after the event.

The Hudson appearance was part of a multi-city tour Walker launched this week in support of his re-election bid.

Following him around the state were two River Falls men who staked out a spot Wednesday across the street from Empire Bucket, which last year hosted U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and President Trump’s son Eric Trump.

One of those protesters, Pierce County Board Supervisor Ben Plunkett, said there’s a caveat to the job expansion for which Walker claims credit.

“It’s low-wage, low-paying jobs,” he said.

Plunkett, joined by fellow River Falls resident Ed Figi, said the small group represented a reality check for Walker and supporters streaming into the campaign event. The men, joined by a third protester from Bruce, Wis., held signs reading “Low wage Walker” for passers-by to see.

“Our families are hurting,” Plunkett said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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