Governor Scott Walker is remaining neutral in the Republican primary for a special election in the 1st State Senate District. Media Trackers received an email Wednesday morning from someone suggesting Walker had thrown his support behind State Representative André Jacque. Jacque and Green Bay businessman Alex Renard are vying for the nomination. The e-mailer was referring to a proof for a Jacque campaign mailer that included a picture of Jacque and Walker at a bill signing and a very flattering Walker quote.
A Walker campaign spokesman provided Media Trackers with the following statement:
“The governor is remaining neutral in the race and plans to support the Republican who wins the primary and becomes the nominee.”
Walker’s image also appears in Renard campaign literature:
However, the Jacque mailer includes a quote from Walker, that appears next to actual endorsements from other officials:
Jacque told Media Trackers that the quote:
“is one he wrote for me for a fundraising letter. I spoke with him at the Door County Lincoln Day dinner and he stands by what he said and told me to go ahead and use it. I’m using it as a character reference rather than an endorsement. It is not an endorsement from Governor Walker. I have not actually asked him for an endorsement. He was happy for me to use the quote.”
The quote also supports a Jacque central campaign narrative: that many establishment Republicans are supporting Renard because Jacque has refused to compromise his conservative principles and has alienated leadership by not backing down on prevailing wage repeal, right to life and other legislation when he was asked to do so. Several Republican lawmakers have said Jacque’s inability to raise funds and what they perceive as his inability to win are why they are supporting Renard. Jacque says the real reason is that he is too conservative for some GOP leaders in Madison.