MADISON (AP) — Wisconsin's former Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Friday that his 25-year-old son is considering running for an open congressional seat in a suburban Milwaukee district.
Walker told a Milwaukee TV station in an interview that his son, Matt, is interested in the traditionally conservative seat that includes the city of Wauwatosa, where he was born and grew up. Matt Walker, a 2016 Marquette University graduate, has never run for public office.
"He's had a number of people reach out to him," Scott Walker said. "I think in particular what intrigues him is he feels frustrated that AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) somehow nationally is reflective of his generation. He's 25 and he feels like there needs to be a counter-voice to that."
The former governor has been a vocal critic of Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist. Since losing re-election as governor in November, Walker has continued to comment on politics on Twitter and in national media appearances, with Ocasio-Cortez as a frequent target, and has taken on jobs for conservative groups. He has ruled out running for office in 2020 or 2022 because he's taking a job in 2021 as president of the Young America's Foundation.
For now, he is the only Walker talking about Matt's potential run. Matt Walker hasn't responded to messages sent Thursday and Friday asking about his interest in the seat.
"When he asked me about it the other day, I gave him the advice you might not think of necessarily politically," Scott Walker said. "I said, 'One, you need to pray about it. If it's God's will to get in or not get in, you'll figure that out first and foremost.'"
If Matt Walker were to run for Congress, he would be entering politics at a young age, just like his father. Scott Walker first ran for the state Assembly in 1990 when he was 22. He lost that race but won an Assembly seat in 1993, at age 25, and remained in elected office until last year, when he lost to Democrat Tony Evers as he sought a third term as governor.
"I think in particular what intrigues him is he feels frustrated that AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) somehow nationally is reflective of his generation." — former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, on his son Matt's potential run for Congress
Scott Walker said he told his son he would need to consult with his girlfriend and business partners before making a decision. Matt Walker is a partner and co-founder of Platform Digital, a company that says it helps "businesses leverage their brands through technology and strategy."
Matt Walker joins a long list of Republicans, including several prominent office holders, who are looking at running to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who has held the seat since 1978.
Others considering it include former U.S. Senate nominee Leah Vukmir; her Republican challenger Kevin Nicholson; Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald; state Sens. Dale Kooyenga and Chris Kapenga; state Rep. Adam Neylon; Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; Ben Voelkel, spokesman for Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; and Vince Trovato, another early Trump backer and his first state director in 2016.
A Matt Walker candidacy could make for some interesting debate around the family dinner table. His younger brother, Walker's other son Alex, worked on Vukmir's Senate campaign last year. He is now running the re-election campaign for Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, who represents southeast Wisconsin in Congress.
Wisconsin Democratic Party spokeswoman Courtney Beyer called Matt Walker unqualified and branded his potential candidacy as "a new level of petty for Scott Walker."
"His former friends and supporters also considering a run must be fuming," Beyer said.