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Lieutenant governor candidates could make a difference

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politics River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

In the past, candidates for Wisconsin governor were neither helped nor hurt by their running mates. But this year, it could be different.

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UW-Milwaukee analyst Mordecai Lee tells the Wisconsin State Journal that the lieutenant governor nominees could make a difference in this year's volatile political climate.

State Assembly Democratic Leader Tom Nelson and former Milwaukee TV anchor Rebecca Kleefisch beat a total of seven other candidates by large margins on Tuesday.

GOP governor nominee Scott Walker met yesterday with Kleefisch to discuss strategy and plan joint campaign appearances.

Nelson campaigned with his new partner, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, on Tuesday in Green Bay.

Both Walker and Barrett say they're excited about their running mates.

Barrett's camp says Nelson will provide the geographic balance to the ticket that Kleefisch doesn't. Nelson is from Kaukauna in the Fox Valley, while Kleefisch is from Oconomowoc - which is close to Walker's Milwaukee home base.

Nelson is regarded as an aggressive campaigner. He said he drove 25,000 miles around the state in his bid for lieutenant governor.

Republicans say Nelson's ties to the Democratic leadership could be a negative. They equate a Barrett victory to a third term for Jim Doyle.

Kleefisch is passionate, a Tea Party favorite, and was named one of Sarah Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" as an up-and-coming conservative woman. She's deeply religious, pro-life, and anti-gay-marriage - and that could turn off moderates who are more concerned about economic issues.

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