Candidates face off: Gov. Scott Walker, Mary Burke meet in first debate

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Data pix.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The first of two debates between Wisconsin's gubernatorial candidates takes place on Friday, October 10th -- and you'll be able to watch the entire thing LIVE on FOX6 News and

After months on the campaign trail, Republican Governor Scott Walker, and Democratic challenger Mary Burke finally come face-to-face in their first debate. The debate will take place in the Mayo Auditorium in Eau Claire. It is scheduled to start at 7 p.m, and is expected to last one hour.

FOX6 News is told the format will be pretty simple. Moderator Jill Geisler, a Veteran Broadcast Journalist from the Milwaukee area, will be joined by a panel of journalists from western Wisconsin.

Each candidate will have a set time to answer questions, and also make a brief rebuttal. In terms of issues, expect jobs to be a big one.

Both sides have plenty of opportunities to get "jabs in" on this topic. Republicans have accused Mary Burke of copying and pasting her jobs plan from other Democrats across the country -- while Democrats have held Scott Walker to his 2010 campaign promise of adding 250,000 private sector jobs over his past term. Only about 103,000 have been added in that time.

The debate is sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Though it was a cool October evening, it wasn't enough to calm the fiery debate that took place inside the Mayo Clinic Auditorium.

"The law in Wisconsin is simple, it's easy to vote but hard to cheat," said Governor, Scott Walker.

"There are 300,000 people in Wisconsin that could be hurt by this law," said Mary Burke.

The format is simple, moderated by veteran Milwaukee Broadcaster, Jill Geisler, questions came fast and furious from a panel of western Wisconsin journalists.

"What is one thing to create jobs that has not been done before?" asked Geisler.

"The one thin that I would do is reduce the cost of college," said Burke.

"If you look at the rate the three years my opponent has worked, half as many jobs, I don't want to go back to those failed policies," said Walker.

Not even half way through the debate, the conversation circled back to Act 10.

"What has this law accomplished, good or bad?" Geisler asked.

The controversial legislation passed by Governor Walker that led to recalls, and protests.

"The savings alone saved the taxpayers 3 billion dollars," said Walker.

"I agree, contributions are needed, what worries me is we are back to 1.8 billion dollar deficit," said Burke.

Both candidates were also asked, if elected, will you serve all four years in office. Burke said "absolutely," but the question seemed more directed toward Governor Walker -- who is often named as a potential presidential candidate. He said, he'd serve all four years.

The second debate is set for Friday, October 17th in Milwaukee. FOX6 News will carry that debate live as well. FOX6's Ted Perry will be on the panel questioning the candidates.


  • Minnie

    I want to reply to how WI do their numbers for employment. It appears they are averaging jobs numbers increasing because the unemployment numbers are decreasing. Just an FYI, just because the unemployment number may have decreased in a month does not prove people are working. From my experience I was just cut off unemployment once I reached my 6th month. I have been consistently looking for work since being laid-off 11/13. My unemployment began Jan/14 and ended 8/14 without extension and NO JOB. So to say unemployment decreased is not proof people found work, they MAY have been cut off like me.

  • Ubiquitous King

    This misleading quantitative data is not just being disseminated in Wisconsin but all over the states. They do this intentionally to minimize the outrage that would surface of the real data was disseminated. This is the problem with government in this country, too many inaccuracies being delivered for political sound bytes as oppose to telling the truth and fixing the issues. This is why so many swindlers stay in office and when their replaced another takes their spot. Guaranteed, this debate will have vague questions and vague answers and the ignorant sheep will be all over it. This country does not elect officials based on genuine policy ideas or applicable credentials, all you have to do is look and act congressional or presidential and every media outlet would saturate air time talking about how assertive and confident the candidate looked, nothing about the substance of the message because there never is any. Shameful but true. We have adults who think this is a democracy when our government is a republic, if it were a democracy why an electoral college? If it were a democracy why is it not stated in the pledge of allegiance? Can you really have to different forms of government operating efficiently at the same time? I say NO.

  • Tracy

    The reason there are no jobs in Wisconsin is because of all the regulations and cost of doing business in Wisconsin. Why don’t you start a business that cost you more money to run and not much profit . All the jobs will cut hours to save on higher wage and health care . Companies create the jobs. Companies want to make money not loose money. Wisconsin has had so many good companies close their doors and set up shop were they can do business and make money. My mother owns a small business and has been audited 2 times and they found nothing. The stress and money spent on her accountant and time she had to spend is not worth it. The amount she paid in taxes and paying the worker and health insurance why bother. She still owns the business but they got rid of all the 7 workers. Like I said it was a small shop but those 7 people lost their job and they do it themselves and are finally making a profit. Why else do you start a business if not to make money. They need to live too and they are not living big.


      It vas hard to watch the hap hazard responses from burka. Same talking points over and over again with no bite. Walker looked presidential compared to the ski bunny.


    It vas a devastating loss for the burke as governor race as we know it. Vee don’t a school board member running our state and a liberal from Madistan as well. Walker won, Burka looked like she was speaking with the unionistas holding a weapon to her head…lol

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