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Walker backs off campaign jobs pledge at Merrill stopSubmitted: 08/26/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MERRILL - Governor Walker promised Wisconsin 250,000 new jobs again and again while campaigning in 2010.

He said he'd accomplish that in his first term as governor.

But the latest Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report puts Walker less than a third of the way there.

He has less than a year and a half to create nearly 170,000 jobs to keep that pledge.

On Monday in Merrill, he carefully backed away from the specific number.

"My goal wasn't so much to hit a magic number as much as it was, in the four years before I took office, when I was campaigning, I saw that we lost over 133,000 jobs in the state. I said, 'it's really not about jobs, it's about real people, real jobs like those here, and more importantly, affecting real families all across the state,'" Walker said.

Walker was helping Northern Wire, a fastener manufacturer, celebrate its 40th year in business.

It bounced back from a 2011 tornado.

That storm tore through the area near the plant on Merrill's north side.

A year ago, an investment group from Indiana bought Northern Wire, helping to keep production in Merrill.

"They made a concerted effort both because they like the company, as well as the like the state. They like the workforce here and the way the state's headed. I think that's a good positive sign for us," Walker said.

Northern Wire employs as many as 190 people during its peak production periods.

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