It’s time for a different kind of leadership in Madison. I’m not a politician. I’m a business leader with the progressive values necessary to beat Governor Scott Walker and make living in Wisconsin better for all of our residents — that’s why I’m running for governor.
I became an entrepreneur in the 2nd grade when I filled my coaster wagon with rocks and sold them door-to-door for a penny apiece. Growing up in Wisconsin, I caddied, washed dishes, bagged groceries, waited tables, swept factory floors, cleaned machinery, and coached football.
School wasn’t easy for me, and I barely got into college. This prompted a huge turnaround in my life. I taught myself to study, earned great grades and graduated in four years from the prestigious Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia before leading a successful business career, creating one of the largest appraisal and consulting companies of its type in the world. Each year we helped thousands of struggling businesses solve problems and access billions of dollars so they could grow and create jobs. Back when I was getting started, it seemed to me that if you worked hard, you could overcome challenges and have a fair shot at the American dream.
In the last few years, I’ve become increasingly concerned that the opportunities that were available to me and my family are becoming out-of-reach for too many. So concerned, I started an organization to bring people together and propose bold ideas for how we can move Wisconsin forward.
After spending the past 18 months listening to hundreds of people across Wisconsin, and having countless conversations at kitchen tables, it is clear to me that Governor Walker has failed our state. He’s put politics over people and Wisconsinites have paid the price. It’s unacceptable and it’s why we must work to bring real change to Madison.
Working together, we can make Wisconsin a global leader that once again creates good-paying jobs in science, technology, manufacturing, and agriculture. Unlike Governor Walker, I will invest in our workforce and our people by strengthening education, standing up for affordable healthcare, fighting for equal pay for equal work, protecting a woman’s right to choose, raising the minimum wage, standing up for our university system, funding our transportation infrastructure, and investing in high-speed Internet.
We’ll put an end to young people fleeing our state to find jobs and lives elsewhere. We’ll recruit young graduates and future business leaders and job creators back to Wisconsin to live and work full-time by helping them pay back their student loans. We’ll give Wisconsin a real foundation that supports entrepreneurial investment and statewide community and economic development for years to come.
Our schools are the heartbeat of communities statewide. We’ll focus resources on our public schools and universities and give them the local control necessary to make education in Wisconsin the best in the world. We’ll return to honoring our teachers in ways that put the needs of students first so every child in Wisconsin has the education he or she needs to succeed. We’ll scale early childhood education so every child who needs it, gets it. And, every child with the grades, but not the money, will attend college free of charge.
Governor Walker wants to strip Wisconsinites of affordable healthcare. I have Crohn’s disease and have listed a pre-existing condition on insurance forms for decades. My family and I are on Obamacare — we understand what the threat of repeal means to Wisconsin families. You better believe that we’ll fight to make sure nobody loses their life or their life’s savings because Governor Walker supports giving the wealthiest Americans hundreds of millions in tax breaks.
I’m so grateful to Mary, my wife of 27 years, and to my young kids, Spencer and Maria, for supporting me to take on this battle. Mary knows that I’ve never walked away from a fight when our shared values and our children’s future is at stake. Spencer and Maria just know that dad always steps up and does the right thing.
The days of Governor Walker blaming the people of Wisconsin for the fact that his policies can’t grow our state are coming to an end. No doubt he’ll have unlimited resources to attack me, but I am not intimidated — because I know there are thousands of Wisconsinites like you who are ready to fight for real change that delivers results for working families.
Together, we’ll restore the progressive values necessary to create good-paying jobs throughout our state, make public education the best choice for learning, and provide affordable healthcare for everyone in Wisconsin.
It’s time for a governor who puts the people of Wisconsin first and makes living here better for everyone.
Thank you for your support,