An unknown Irish American Mary Burk is threatening to pull off the biggest upset this November as she has drawn level in the polls in Wisconsin with Republican governor Scott Walker a frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President in 2016.
The 55-year-old Burke is an heir to the Trek bicycling fortune and spent many years working for the company her father started. She has never been elected to anything but a local WIsconsin school board but did serve as commerce secretary in the democratic Doyle administration in Wisconsin.
Despite starting out as a huge outsider she is now level with Walker in the polls and the GOP has just announced an extra $2.3 million ad buy this fall to prop up their candidate.
Walker’s problem pollster say is a continued fall out over his clashes with the Labor movement and non delivery of the 240,000 private sector jobs he promised.
Burke is best known as a philanthropist and moderate business woman and has highlighted her ability to work with all sides.
Burke told Politico “I knew I probably didn’t fit the typical mold. “While I have the business background, I really — how should I say this? — I prefer the work in the public sector.”
Burke needs to mobilize liberal and union support behind her candidacy, no sure thing given as she is seen as too moderate by many Democratic groups.