UPDATE: Brett Hulsey announces run for Governor - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Brett Hulsey announces run for Governor

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) cleared up months of speculation about his political future in emphatic fashion Monday morning, announcing he will challenge Mary Burke for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

From pleading no contest to disorderly conduct for flipping a 9 year-old child off of an inner tube at a Madison beach in 2012, to facing a complaint from a staffer for bringing a box cutter to work in order to train her in self-defense in 2013, Hulsey has been the subject of some bizarre stories.
But he is not letting that stop him from moving forward with a gubernatorial campaign.

Rep. Hulsey is not only happy to talk about those past actions, but defend them as well.

"This is a long campaign, but I'm saying 'bring it.'  I'm ready for it," Rep. Hulsey told 27 News in a one-on-one interview Monday.

As for that 2012 disorderly conduct incident, Hulsey maintains he was in the right.

"Two little girls were being bullied by this kid," said Hulsey, who said that's why he flipped the kid off of his flotation device.

When it comes to the 2013 complaint from a female staffer, he said he was simply providing a reasonable solution to an unreasonable situation.

"When the police chief, Governor Walker's police chief was instructing our staff to punch people, I said, 'okay, give us a training on self-defense,'" said Hulsey, referring to Capitol Police Chief David Erwin.  "I'll defend anything I've done. I do not pretend to be perfect.  I'm running for Governor, not saint here." 

On that point, Rep. Hulsey says he's running because Mary Burke's campaign has not lived up to his expectations.

"Looking at Mary Burke's campaign, she needed spring training.  I mean, she is playing like the Bucks, not the Brewers," said Hulsey. 

Hulsey claims the main focus of his campaign will be jobs.  He proposes a $700 million investment in clean energy jobs.  He also wants to put $800 million dollars back into public schools and proposes paying back public sector workers for the money they've lost in benefit and pension payments since Act 10 went into effect.

"So, we reinvest the $330 million Governor Walker took from public servants, we give them their money back.  We reinvest in the UW, we reinvest in job training," said Hulsey.

Hulsey also says he wants to debate Mary Burke in all 72 counties before the primary.

"And if she doesn't want to debate me, I have a chicken suit in my basement and somebody will be following her in a chicken suit," said Hulsey.

Hulsey clarified it would not be him, but someone else, following Burke in a chicken suit.

When asked about Hulsey, the Burke campaign put out a statement saying their focus remains squarely on Governor Walker.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) cleared up months of speculation about his political future in emphatic fashion Monday morning, announcing he will challenge Mary Burke for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

“I am getting a great reception for my Get Wisconsin Working Again Plan as I travel the state,” Rep. Hulsey noted. “People want a real plan to get back to work, not more divisive politics.”

Rep. Hulsey says that plan allocates $2.1 billion to create clean energy jobs, increase job training, provide investments for public schools, the UW system and technical college investments. 

“Gov. Walker’s Reign of Error has made Wisconsin 2nd in the nation in losing jobs. We have to turn the state around to create a better future for our children and neighbors,” said Rep. Hulsey.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous couple of years for Rep. Hulsey, which saw him plea "no contest" to disorderly conduct for flipping a 9-year-old boy, whom he did not know, off his inner tube while both were swimming on July 4, 2012 at Spring Harbor Beach.

In early 2013, Hulsey aide Terri Zimmerman filed a complaint with Capitol Police after he brought a box cutter to work to allegedly teach her how to defend herself.  Zimmerman told police Hulsey also considered bringing a gun to the Capitol, even though he didn't have a concealed weapons permit.

After that second incident, Madison Alders Mark Clear and Lisa Subeck both announced they would challenge Rep. Hulsey for his 78th Assembly District seat. 

Rep. Hulsey was first elected to the State Assembly in 2010, after serving 14 years on the Dane County Board.

27 News Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have more on this developing story throughout the day.

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