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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

 2:30 PM 

Dem primary candidates join forces behind Barrett

All three unsuccessful Dem primary candidates publicly threw their support behind Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a joint appearance today outside Barrett's Milwaukee home.

Kathleen Falk, Kathleen Vinehout and Doug La Follette all said they'd actively campaign on Barrett's behalf over the next 27 days.

Barrett told reporters the recall election is uniting Dems against Gov. Scott Walker and said he's not worried about the high number of votes Walker received in last night's primary election.

"If we were divided, it would be a concern," said Barrett. "The fact that you have, essentially within 14 hours, all of the candidates standing together shows we are united."

"Clearly, the Republicans worked as hard as they could to get a general election-type of turnout," said Barrett, citing a barrage of TV ads that he likened to "30-second drive-by shootings."

Falk, who placed second in the primary and who had garnered extensive union support, said, "Last night, I called Tom to give him my full support and I have asked all my supporters to give the same energy and enthusiasm to Tom Barrett."

Falk added, "Tom Barrett will focus like a laser beam on the issues that matter most to all of us."

Vinehout said, "Now is the time, today is the hour. We are going to win in a very short time. It's all about votes, getting people to the polls and all of their relatives who didn't vote. We need to start today on getting people to vote."

La Follette said, "I've always been a very grassroots candidate, and those people whom I've met, who I know, we're going to call them."

Barrett said his campaign will differ from his earlier contest with Walker in 2010 because "people now have an understanding of Scott Walker's divide-and-conquer approach to government. He wants to divide people."

Barrett said the 2012 campaign will also differ because, "(Voters) are going to see me and they're going to see Kathleen, and they're going to see Kathleen and they're going to see Doug -- and they'll see other people around the state and we're going to talk about Scott Walker's record. Two years ago, he did not have a state record. Now that he has a state record, he does not want to talk about his record."

-- By Kay Nolan

WisPolitics Platinum subscribers will see more from the Dem unity event in today's PM Update.

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