We’re down to the last three or four remaining well-known Republicans who have yet to declare a presidential run, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker being one of them. As of today, Walker has filed to create a “testing the waters” committee which brings him under campaign finance rules to begin raising money prior to his expected announcement in mid-July.
Report from the AP:
Stepping closer to an all-but-inevitable White House bid, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has created a “testing the waters” committee that allows him to raise money for a presidential campaign.
The two-term Republican governor has already been raising unlimited political donations through a tax-exempt group since January. And in April, former senior aides created a super PAC to bring in even more.
The new committee allows Walker to raise money for the first time that will be controlled exclusively by him and his prospective campaign.
“Americans want to hear more about what worked in Wisconsin and how Walker’s reforms can work across the country,” Walker adviser Rick Wiley said in statement to The Associated Press announcing the move. “In the past several months many have urged him to run for president, and he has decided to take a serious look at running.”
In many ways, Walker has been testing the waters for most of the year. He has been assembling a large campaign staff based in Madison in addition to traveling the country extensively, with a focus on early presidential voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
Donors and political operatives expect Walker to enter the race in mid-July after he signs the state budget into law. The Republican-controlled Legislature has been at an impasse for nearly three weeks, delaying passage of the plan that Walker had hoped would have been done by now.
As mentioned, Walker has followed the Jeb Bush model of fundraising for the past six months. However, as of today, Walker is all-but a declared candidate and can no longer coordinate with his PAC or serve in a fundraising capacity.
Also noted, his announcement to officially enter the 2016 race will come in mid-July once the Wisconsin state budget negotiations are complete. Those negotiations have not come without some controversy in taxes, spending cuts, and everything else associated with budget deliberations. Walker is still sitting well in the Iowa caucus polls so he’ll enter the race in a strong position.