Gov. Scott Walker entering 2016 presidential race - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Gov. Scott Walker entering 2016 presidential race

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker plans to make his White House bid official Monday, July 13, in the Milwaukee suburb Waukesha.

A source with knowledge of campaign plans tells 27 News the announcement will be made at the Waukesha exposition center, where Walker has celebrated past, election victories, including his June 2012 recall election victory.

The Walker campaign also filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in preparation for a presidential run.

Walker's announcement has long been expected. The second-term Wisconsin governor is set to formally enter the field with strong positioning in Iowa and is expected to have a strong network of conservative donors.

Chair of the Waukesha County Republican Party John Macy says Walker's selection of a site for the launch of his bid taps a stronghold.

"Waukesha County has always been known as delivering some of the largest number of votes for the governor,"  Macy says.

Walker used an editorial in Real Clear Politics to pan President Obama's economic performance, and trumpet some of Walker's expected campaign themes.

"Bright spots in the Obama economy are few and far between,"  Walker wrote. 

"We began reforming public sector union rules...the kinds of practical reforms that also could improve federal-government efficiency."

"The governor's reforms are working,"  La Crosse County Republican Party spokesperson Julian Bradley said.

But UW-Madison Political Science professor Ken Mayer says some sluggish, economic measurements, and divisions between Walker and fellow republicans in a difficult state budget process dog Walker. 

But Mayer says Walker will enter a crowded GOP primary field "...in the first tier"  of candidates.

"For a lot of ambitious politicians, this is the pinnacle, being taken seriously as a presidential candidate,"  Mayer says.

Mayer says enduring the intense media scrutiny that comes with an official, presidential candidacy will be one of Walker's primary challenges.

And then there's the inevitable political sparring between more than a dozen GOP primary candidates.  "The gloves are going to come off,"  Mayer says.  "People are going to attack each other."

Macy says Walker's bid even surpasses the esteem bestowed upon the state as a result of Rep. Paul Ryan's selection as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate in 2012.

"It's the number one slot,"  Macy says.  "It's historic."

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Aides to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker say the Republican is entering the crowded Republican race for president.

They say Walker's plans to launch his long-expected run by filing the necessary paperwork Thursday. Walker's official kickoff is expected July 13 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

READ MORE: Gov. Scott Walker's letter to Federal Elections Commission

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the launch ahead of the filing.

The 47-year-old Walker is in his second term as governor. He won a recall election in 2012 after angering union members by signing a law curtailing their collective bargaining rights.

Before jumping into the 2016 race, Walker had been waiting for state lawmakers to finish work on a new budget. But with progress in the Wisconsin Legislature stalled, Walker is moving ahead with his campaign.

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