WATCH: News 18’s one-on-one interview with Gov. Scott Walker

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – The November election is less than one month away and time is running out for candidates to make their pitches to voters.

Over the weekend, our own Stephen Kelley sat down with Governor Scott Walker to discuss a variety of topics.

Walker said if he wins, this will be his last term. We asked him if he would consider running again if he were to lose.

“I’m an optimist, so I don’t consider that latter,” Walker said. “I’ll leave that up to the voters and God’s will, but overall, the reason for this being the third and final term is really simple. First, it was all about jobs. This term (our second term) was all about workforce and building our workforce. That’s why we made big investments in schools and our technical colleges, our working training program. Now, as I look ahead to our third term, our focus there is on finishing the job. It’s on not only training, but building and expanding that workforce. So, we’ve got a game plan, but once we’re done, it’s time to pass the baton on to the new generation of leadership.”

Earlier this month, a legislative fiscal bureau report showed property taxes went up nearly $25 a year because of locally driven increases like referendums and wheel taxes – both of which Eau Claire has passed in the last few years.

So, News 18 also asked the governor, are deep cuts causing local communities to fund what the state will not?

“State aid went up the highest it has in 20 years, then I think people need to push back and look at the facts and say why are we approving a wheel tax when we just got the biggest increase in local road aids in 20 years? There is a disconnect between what local officials are saying and what the facts are in terms of the state going forward,” Walker said. “For us, we’re going to put more into schools, we’re going to continue to put more into local road aids going forward.”

Another topic of great interest to Wisconsinites – Foxconn. Some Wisconsinites are concerned they will not reap the benefits of the promises the state and company have made. Walker admitted to News 18 his legacy will be tied to the deal.

“It’ll be a part of it. The fact of the matter is we would have never gotten this eight or nine years ago because there is no way that they, or another company, big or small, no matter where it was in the state, were looking at making that kind of investment in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said. “They’re going to make a $10 billion investment, one of the largest in the history of the United States, not just state history. On top of that, you have things like the new center in Eau Claire, where there is high tech jobs. There’s a long-term benefit that is going to come. Probably the best thing is, UW-Eau Claire, CVTC and other schools and colleges like that across the state, there are students enrolled right now who are going to stay and work here in the state of Wisconsin, specifically because the company who made their iPhone, over all the other states, picked Wisconsin and they want to stay here.”

You can watch the entire interview with the governor above.



Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley joined the News 18 team in August 2006. He is currently the 10:00 PM Evening Anchor/Producer.

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