By Kevin Brennan // March 31, 2011 | 2:36 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2011 | 10:55 p.m.
The controversy surrounding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) budget proposals has spilled over into the campaign for his old job. Walker served as Milwaukee County executive from 2002 through 2010, but the governor is now being used as a rallying cry in the race for his replacement. Philanthropist Chris Abele's campaign released an ad Wednesday warning voters of the dangers of putting a Walker ally in office.
The spot, which was produced by the Democratic media firm Ralston Lapp, paints Abele's opponent, state Rep. Jeff Stone (R), as Walker's ideological doppelganger. It begins with a narrator saying, "If you like what Scott Walker's done, then you'll love Jeff Stone." The ad then features grainy footage of Stone calling Walker "a great governor" during a campaign event. Watch the full ad after the jump.
Abele's campaign clearly hopes the opposition to Walker's collective bargaining restrictions will sway the electorate away from Stone, who voted for Walker's budget repair bill in the state legislature.
While the election is technically non-partisan, Democratic support has largely coalesced around Abele, who received an endorsement in Feb. from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D).
Despite Walker's eight years running Milwaukee County, the area isn't necessarily friendly terrain for Republicans in the first place. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Barrett defeated Walker by a margin of 62%-38% in the county.
Stone finished first in a five-person primary on Feb. 15, capturing 44 percent of the vote. Abele came in a distant second with 25 percent. If Abele defeats Stone on April 5, some observers will undoubtedly paint the result as a loss for Walker, as well.
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