Thursday was day three in the effort to collect signatures to recall Governor Scott Walker, and some are now wondering who would run against him, should there be a recall election. Some of the names being floated by Democrats include Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, and retiring U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, among other Democratic leaders.
Mayor Barrett lost to Walker in the 2010 race for governor by just four percentage points. He says he's focused on his mayoral re-election campaign, but didn't close the door on another campaign for governor.
"There is a very large percentage of the state that is very unhappy with the governor," Mayor Barrett said.
After Feingold's defeat in the U.S. Senate race, it seemed like he might be ready to run again, but he stunned supporters in August, announcing he would not be a candidate for any office in 2012.
Kohl is retiring as U.S. Senator in 2012, and he has bi-partisan popularity across the state, with election results to prove it. He says at this time, he has no plans to run for governor.
Wisconsin Firefighters Union President Mahlon Mitchell has said he would be interested in running for the office, as well as Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. Falk was front and center when Walker recall paperwork was officially dropped off this week.
"Wisconsin wants a governor who fights for them," Falk said.
Another name being floated as a potential candidate is Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha). During the debate and eventual approval of Walker's collective bargaining law, Barca emerged as the face of the Democratic opposition. Another potential candidate coming out of the collective bargaining debate is State Senator John Erpenbach (D-Middleton). He is one of 14 Democrats who left the state to delay a vote on that law.
"When these things happen, names pop up all over the place. It's nothing I'm thinking about," Erpenbach said.
Walker has already started raising money for a recall election, and analysts say it could be a $100 million race.