MADISON (WKOW) -- President Obama's visit to Madison came hours after New Jersey's democratic governor's unsuccessful bid for re-election, and with no announced, democratic candidate in Wisconsin's gubernatorial race.
But Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who has been strongly encouraged by a number of leading state democrats to make the race, said his chat with the president in Madison avoided the topic.
"I talked with him on the tarmac briefly, but not about politics," Barrett said after Obama's appearance.
"It was about education. This was an education visit. That's what the conversation was about."
But Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville), who also attended the president's Madison appearance at James Wright middle school, told 27 News Barrett is getting a message and encouragement from Obama.
"He's put some focus and some energy into convincing Tom Barrett to run for governor. I think Tom Barrett would be a heck of a leader."
The creators of the website TomforGovernor.com said more than 600 people have joined their Facebook page in support of a Barrett run and said Barrett will announce a decision on whether to run this week.
Announced republican candidates for the 2010 gubernatorial voting are Milwaukee County executive Scott Walker and former congressman Mark Neumann.
New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine lost Tuesday's election, despite campaign visits by Obama as recently as Sunday to try boost Corzine's chances.