Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Gets a 4th Democratic Challenger

September 13, 2017

Government reform advocate Mike McCabe on Tuesday joined an increasingly crowded Democratic field to challenge GOP Gov. Scott Walker next year.

Already in the race: state schools superintendent Tony Evers, businessman Andy Gronik and state Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire. The August 2018 primary will determine who will face Walker that November.

McCabe is staking out turf on the left end of the Democratic spectrum, campaigning for “a living wage for every worker, health care for all, debt-free education and job training, and high-speed internet to every doorstep.”

For 15 years, McCabe was the face of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a group that lobbies for having taxpayers finance political campaigns to reduce the influence of special interests. He routinely called out Republicans and Democrats, frustrating elected officials and party staff on the left and right.

His group was influential in banning the legislative caucus staff that performed campaign work on state time. It also helped pass laws that created a public financing system for state Supreme Court races and established the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board to oversee elections and ethics laws — though both those laws were later repealed by Walker.

McCabe left the Democracy Campaign in 2015 and founded Blue Jean Nation, a group aimed at helping everyday people challenge the political establishment. He’s seizing on the same theme with his campaign for governor, naming his website www.governorbluejeans.com and calling his political committee Commoners for Mike McCabe.