The Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, was elected to a second term Tuesday night, winning handily after an overtly partisan agenda that has made him a hero to the far right.
Walker, who defeated candidate Mary Burke with more than 10 percent, had a rocky start to his first term as he sought to dismantle collective bargaining rights. But after surviving a recall election, Walker managed to turn around his image and produce a competitive campaign against business executive Burke.
Though Walker has managed to convince voters he deserves another term, his election is a blow to reproductive rights advocates in the state and around the country.
Walker has said he opposes abortion in all cases, without exception. The Wisconsin legislature, under Walker’s leadership, has enacted several abortion restrictions, including a law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals and an ultrasound mandate.
Walker, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said recently that he was a proponent of equal pay for women even after repealing an equal pay law.
Walker in 2011 signed a budget bill that cut funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. In the past year, five Planned Parenthoods have closed due to the cuts, despite the fact that none of them provided abortions. Walker recently announced that his administration would not be enforcing a state law mandating contraceptive coverage in certain company insurance policies.
Walker also rejected Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, and has instead moved forward with limited reforms of BadgerCare, the state public insurance program.
During her campaign, Burke, an executive at Trek bicycles, defined herself as a pro-choice advocate and proponent of health-care access. Burke said on the campaign trail that “the last three years have seen an unprecedented assault on the freedom of women to make their own health-care choices. And Scott Walker has led the charge.”