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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

 4:17 PM 

Barrett says turnout exceeding expectations

Dem guv hopeful Tom Barrett hit the UW-Madison campus before heading to his election party, telling reporters on Library Mall that he's hearing state voters have shattered turnout projections for the midterms.

Barrett said the new projections – in which turnout may hit 60 percent -- contradict the impression of an enthusiasm gap between Dem and GOP voters.

"The Democratic base needed a little extra time to get caffeinated, and now they're caffeinated and they're charged up and coming out to vote like there's no tomorrow," the Milwaukee mayor said. "We're very, very pleased with the turnout."

Barrett said he didn't think reports of a recent agreement on federal money for high-speed rail in the state would affect today's election, predicting that people who intended to vote on the issue of rail made their decision in the race a long time ago.

But he added that he would review the decision to sign the agreement over the weekend if elected.

"I'm someone who believes very strongly in transparency," Barrett said. "As governor, I will review the decision and make sure that it was made in a proper way. And if it's not transparent, we'll make it transparent."

The mayor said he hadn't given any thought to his future plans as mayor after today. If victorious, Barrett would have to resign his mayoral post by Dec. 28 to set up a special election in the normal spring election.

"What we're most interested in doing is putting together my economic development team, and I'm ready to start doing that tomorrow," Barrett said.

-- By Andy Szal

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