HOWARD - Northeast Wisconsin has seen a lot of candidates pounding the pavement lately.
But most aren't wearing a tux and a top hat reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln.
"When you don't have millions of dollars you need to get people to pay attention to you, and there's a reason why Abraham Lincoln is one of the most beloved presidents in the country's history and it's because of what he stood for and hopefully I can evoke that image," said Arthur Kohl-Riggs, the lone Republican challenger to Gov. Scott Walker in the May 8 recall primary.
Kohl-Riggs, a 23-year-old food service worker from Madison, says he's running as a "real Republican" alternative to Walker.
"For me, one of the principles of the Republican Party is honest representation," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Kohl-Riggs insists he's not a protest candidate or running to force a primary. However, he spent considerable time protesting Act 10 at the state Capitol during the collective bargaining debate last year.
"I'm running my own campaign. I'm not a Democrat; I'm not getting my institutionalized support from the Democrats. I'm a Republican candidate running for governor against Scott Walker," he said.
Kohl-Riggs says he would push for campaign finance reform. According to the Government Accountability Board, Kohl-Riggs has raised only $2,000. He says the donations came in $100 increments.
In comparison, the tables at the Walker fundraiser in Howard, where Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey made an appearance, cost $2,500 each.
"He thinks he knows what's best for the state, or in this case the outside business interests who come in and finance his campaign to the tune of $25 million," said Kohl-Riggs.
Though largely unknown, and lacking the big campaign funds, Kohl-Riggs says no matter the outcome next week, his campaign has been worth it.
The primary for both Republicans and Democrats will be next Tuesday, May 8. The Democratic recall primary features Kathleen Falk, Kathleen Vinehout, Tom Barrett, Doug La Follette and Gladys Huber.
The general recall election is June 5.
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