Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker spoke at a Marquette College Republicans meeting Wednesday night about current issues in the Milwaukee area and his plans for his upcoming re-election campaign.
Walker has served as county executive since 2002. Before that, he served in the state legislature for nearly nine years, according to College Republicans Vice Chair Luke Fuller, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences.
At the meeting, Walker discussed the state of Milwaukee Public Schools.
"The government is giving money to the schools and not asking anything for it," he said. "There is no accountability. It's a failing system."
Walker also discussed recent changes to the Milwaukee County bus system and his opponent for the upcoming election, Lena Taylor.
He also expressed his appreciation to the students for supporting him in the past and provided options for those interested in supporting him in the future.
Walker formerly attended Marquette, and said he enjoys visiting the campus because Marquette students and alumni play a crucial role in both Milwaukee County and in his own political support system.
"Marquette College Republicans and Marquette students in general have played a key role in my campaign," Walker said.
Walker said he also has a significant number of interns that come from Marquette, because he and many of his staff members attended the university and because of the proximity between the university and his offices.
Walker said his main focus right now is on the election for county executive, which will take place April 1, 2008.
John Connors, chairman of College Republicans and a senior in the College of Business Administration, has worked as an intern for Walker since his freshman year.
Connors said Walker's election to county executive was a landmark achievement for Republicans and conservatives throughout the area.
"Walker ran in a non-partisan election, but he is truly the first conservative elected to the Milwaukee area, and he has done a tremendous job in his position and we fully support what he is trying to accomplish," Connors said.
Patrick Fields, senior communication director for College Republicans and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said much of the support Walker receives from Marquette students stems from the personal connection that many students feel with him.
"Walker is a young guy and he went to Marquette, so a lot of students feel that they have a connection with him because of that," Fields said.
Fields also said College Republicans and Marquette students play many roles in supporting Walker's political career, one of which is assisting his campaign through events known as Walker Weekends.
"With Walker Weekends students help out his campaign by assisting with direct mail and stuffing envelopes," Fields said. "It's really about just coming together as a group and getting people from the area … to join in."
The next Walker Weekend is Sunday at 3 p.m. at 2134 W. Michigan St.
Click here to see this Tribune's article about Walker's appearance on "On the Issues with Mike Gousha."