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Burke announces candidacy

MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke announced this morning that she'll run as a Democrat against Governor Scott Walker in 13 months.

Burke unveiled a three-minute video on YouTube, highlighting her Wisconsin roots and business background.

State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said last week that Burke would provide a quote, "phenomenal alternative to where Scott Walker is taking this state." She was the state's commerce secretary for two years in the last decade, and she's currently on the Madison School Board.

Mary Burke is the daughter of Richard Burke, who founded Trek Bicycle in 1976 in Waterloo. She has held a variety of posts for the company, including the head of European operations in which she started outfits in seven countries. In her video, Burke said it was a big part of her life, and she believes it will help the state as governor. Burke said it's time for a change, although she did not mention Walker by name. Quote, "Just like Washington, our state capital has become so focused on politics and winning the next political fight, it's pulling our state apart and our economy down."

State Democratic leaders have tried to convince Burke to run, hoping she'll spend some of her personal fortune so the party can keep up with the multi-million-dollar war-chest the Republican Walker expects to have.

Some insiders have also hoped the Democrats could avoid an expensive primary, by giving Burke a clear to path to the party's nomination -- but that remains to be seen. Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout of Alma plans to decide early next year whether she'll run for governor for a second time.