Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and her supporters in labor were ready. The moment Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was declared the winner of the Democratic primary for Wisconsin governor, they issued strong statements of support for him in the 28-day general election campaign against Gov. Scott Walker. Falk used her concession speech to supporters to make that point, saying:
I give my full support in this race against Scott Walker to Tom, and I urge you to do the same. Now you and I must turn to tomorrow. The work of healing and the real progress of Wisconsin must intensify, and Gov. Walker must be recalled.
Unions and labor groups that had endorsed Falk similarly made immediate statements in support of Barrett:
“Tom Barrett is a strong leader who will end the political turmoil Scott Walker has brought to this state and reunite Wisconsin to get us moving forward again,” said Kristen Crowell, executive director of the labor coalition We Are Wisconsin.
SEIU sent out a statement from Dian Palmer, the president of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin:
“Tom Barrett has shown a genuine commitment to working families in our state. His job creation and economic development initiatives are the real leadership our state needs in this recovering economy. [...]
“Tonight’s results prove that Tom Barrett has connected with working families across the state and as governor will restore our shared Wisconsin values by uniting people across the political spectrum to solve our tough problems together.”
This unity will be sorely needed in the effort to defeat Scott Walker and his boatloads of cash.