WEST ALLIS -- Gov. Scott Walker told a cheering crowd at State Fair Park that "we understand that true freedom and prosperity doesn't come from the mighty hand of the government but comes from empowering people to live their own lives," as he won his third statewide election in four years.
Walker, who was up by 9 percentage points when Dem opponent Mary Burke conceded, referred to America and to Washington throughout the speech.
"In America, opportunity is equal, but the outcome is up to you," Walker said. "America is one of the few places in the world where it doesn't matter what your parents do for a living, it doesn't matter what class you're born into, in America, you can do anything you want."
Walker said there is a "sea change" of difference between Wisconsin and Washington, because Washington "is all against something but we are for something."
Walker started off by thanking his family and supporters, but made a point to thank the military. "There are literally hundreds of people from Wisconsin who are still deployed even as we speak, in harm's way. That's something even more incredible than what we're doing here this evening."
The governor also said he had called to thank Mary Burke.
"I know there are disagreements on policy issues," Walker said, "but that picture signifies that she has a great love for her state, just like her supporters did," referring to a photo taken over the weekend of Burke and Walker during a chance meeting on the campaign trail.
The governor repeatedly mentioned dependence on government in his speech, saying that "Washington measures success by how many people are on government assistance, by how many people are on food stamps and how many are on Medicaid," he said. "We measure success by how many people are no longer dependent."
"It's the American dream that talks about the dignity of work and we take a day off to celebrate the Fourth of July and not the 15th of April," Walker said to end his speech, prompting loud cheers from supporters.
Earlier, when Burke's concession speech was shown to the crowd on a large screen, boos and heckles abounded. Many in the crowd -- some of whom were drinking beer sold at the State Fair concession stand -- shook their fists and then began waving and singing, "Nah, nah, nah, nah. Hey, hey, hey, goodbye."
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch told the crowd, "The third time's the charm."
"Get ready for lower taxes, get ready for more jobs, get ready for we the people to be in charge again," said Kleefisch.
Few fellow GOP lawmakers were in the crowd, but state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, watched from the back. Afterward, she told WisPolitics, she had predicted Walker would win the race "either by a very small margin or a blowout."
Darling said the vote "shows most people believe we are on the right track."
Darling noted there should no longer be worry in the business community about the state's "uncertainly about leadership" as they had during the recall election two years ago.
"I think we're perfectly positioned now," she said. "The certainty of a Walker administration for four more years will add stability to our state of Wisconsin and that's a good thing."