MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The State Republican Party said Mary Burke helped create the fiscal mess that Governor Scott Walker had to mop up.
Burke, who was Jim Doyle's commerce secretary for two years, Monday became Walker's first official Democratic challenger.
Republicans immediately went after her ties to Doyle, saying she left the state with a $3.6 billion deficit that Walker and his party eliminated in 2011.
GOP spokesman Joe Fadness said the deficit came with big tax hikes and massive job losses -- all of which Walker help turn around. Fadness said a vote for Burke is a vote to, "take Wisconsin backward."
State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said Burke has a strong record of creating good-paying private sector jobs in her commerce post and as a former executive at Trek Bicycle. Tate also said Burke has a history of bringing people together to improve Wisconsin.
He said it would be, "a stark contract to Scott Walker's style of divisive extremism."
Burke faces a possible primary challenge from state Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout of Alma.
Vinehout said Monday she'll decide early next year whether she'll run in a primary that would be held next August.