MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk conceded Monday she is the underdog as the Democratic primary in the recall for governor approached, but says the intensity of her grass roots support would make a difference.
Falk campaigned in the home city of her chief rival, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, talking with students at UW-Milwaukee and union custodians and teachers' aides at an elementary school.
Falk told 27 News public opinion polls that have her behind Barrett fails to measure certain voter intangibles.
"This passion that it took to get a million signatures and why those people are out there doing literature drops, phone banks."
Falk was the first announced Democratic candidate in the race to recall Governor Scott Walker, and has garnered significant labor union support and endorsements.
But Falk says Barrett's unsuccessful run against Walker in 2010 gives him the edge in name identification.
Falk mounted an unsuccessful run for Wisconsin Attorney General in 2006. She noted she claimed 50,000 more votes than Barrett did in his 2010 race. Falk lost in an election cycle that largely favored Democrats, while Barrett's loss took place in a year of significant Republican gains.
UW-Milwaukee student Makayla West said she was impressed with Falk during a brief meeting in the student union, but needs more information before considering a vote for her Tuesday.
"To be honest, I really don't know much about Kathleen Falk," said West.
Falk said if elected governor, she would work to reverse Walker's limits on public employee union collective bargaining, strengthen support for public schools, and assign a Department of Workforce Development staff member to more closely monitor the burgeoning debt associated with collegiate student loans.
"We believe in Kathleen," SEIU Local 150 Vice President Carmen Dickinson said, as workers went through shift change at Gaenslen school. "She's fought for working families."
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