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Burke says she would offer better leadership as governor

By Jessica Arp, jarp@wisctv.com
Published On: Nov 05 2013 06:14:38 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 08:10:23 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

In her first extended interview with WISC-TV, Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke wouldn't talk specifics about how she'd run Wisconsin.

Burke said she'd bring a different style of leadership to the state.

"I can tell you that I'm pretty analytical," Burke said of her decision-making style. The former Trek executive, secretary of the Department of Commerce during the Doyle administration and current Madison School Board member said those decision-making and listening skills are exactly why voters should choose her to be governor in 12 months.

"Get all the options on the table, make sure people have a voice and that you're considering those," said Burke on how she'd make decisions in the statehouse. "Make sure you evaluate them on research and pick the best options regardless of whether they are Democratic or Republican options."

Burke won't jump into political debates just yet. In a prior interview with The Associated Press she promised to "make no promises" in the campaign.

WISC-TV asked what voters should base their decision on.

"I think it's absolutely critical, and what I hear from people is they do want to make sure they know where people stand on the issues, the type of values that are important to you and the type of governor you'd be," said Burke. "Over the next year I will certainly do that."

As for her plans, Burke said she'll focus on creating new businesses.

"Wisconsin is 48th in the country in terms of new businesses started so we have to make sure we have a climate that's encouraging people to take that risk and get started," said Burke. "We help them do that by making sure capital is more accessible and affordable, making sure we are able to help open doors to new customers and new markets, and also making sure there aren't the regulatory hurdles in the way of doing that."

WISC-TV asked Burke how she'd approach these goals differently than Gov. Scott Walker.

"While some of the things may be good that are being done, they're not enough to move the needle," said Burke. "The focus needs to be on jobs, and I think we've taken that focus off of what is most important."

As for specifics, Burke didn't offer any concrete plans.

"As I said about new businesses started and small businesses growing," Burke said of her goals. "I think also we want to make sure we're investing in the strengths of Wisconsin, and we have so many, to make sure we are as competitive as possible."

Burke won't say how important union endorsements are to her candidacy. So far, none have jumped on board her campaign.

She also won't take a position on the casino proposed for Kenosha.

"I think first and foremost we should have looked at whether it would create more jobs overall," said Burke. "If this is just an issue of trading jobs with Milwaukee for jobs in Kenosha, that's not really the best tact."

When pressed on whether or not she would support the project, she declined to say.

"I'd have to see more information than has been made available publicly," said Burke.

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