Speculation continues over potential presidential run - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Speculation continues over potential presidential run

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The race for governor in Wisconsin is beginning to heat up.  The election is still a year away but the incumbent Governor Walker continues to be asked whether he has plans for an even higher office. 

Over the weekend Jonathan Karl from ABC News asked Governor Walker if he would commit to serve a full second term, if voters re-elect him next fall.  The governor said he's never made that commitment.

But when you won't commit to serving a full second term, I mean, how do you interpret that as anything other than leaving the door open to run for president? That door is open right? You've said it. I mean you're certainly not ruling it out," asked Karl. "I don't rule anything out," responded Walker.

"Well he's clearly interested in running for president," said retired political science professor Mort Sipress "It's the only thing that would explain his many trips around the country to raise money."

Sipress says the governor has some work to do if he plans to pursue the republican nomination for president.

"As popular as he is among a very conservative group of republicans, the general public hasn't the foggiest idea who he is," said Sipress, "So he has to build that name recognition before the larger public will start giving him attention."

The questions about commitment come up because of the campaign cycle. The 2016 presidential election would fall halfway into his second term as governor, if he's re-elected. 

"I think most governors do that," said Michael Conlin, chairperson for the Eau Claire County Republican Party "I mean we've got senators that do the same thing. We've got all sorts of elected officials who run of higher office in the middle of a term."

"We need a governor that will govern for the best of the state of Wisconsin," said chairperson for the Eau Claire County Democratic Party, Beverly Wickstrom "and that's not someone who's spending his time running for president or writing books."

No matter what he's thinking we may not get the official word until the 2014 governor's election is in the books.

"Well if he runs and loses he might as well not run for president so he'd pretty much have to win the governorship," said Conlin

"He doesn't have an automatic shoo-in win in Wisconsin," said Sipress.

So far there is only one official democratic challenger in the race for governor, Mary Burke but others, including State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, are considering a run.

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