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Wis. Democrats shopping around candidates to run against Gov. Walker in new poll

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin Democrats are conducting a poll to see whether Mary Burke could be a viable candidate for governor next year.

The poll was made public Tuesday, after the State Republican Party filed a complaint with elections’ officials.  The GOP accused the Democrats of breaking the law, by not saying who’s paying for the poll.

Mary Burke is the daughter of Richard Burke, the founder of the Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo. She held a number of positions in the company before serving as former Governor Jim Doyle’s commerce secretary for two years.

Burke is now on the Madison School Board.

Democrats say they’re conducting polls on a number of potential challengers to Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Burke has never publicly said whether she’d be interested in running.

One poll earlier this year showed that former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold would have the best chance of defeating Walker. But that apparently went out the window last week, when Feingold was named a U.S. envoy to the Congo.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Walker – along with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, both of whom are former state Assembly members.

Current Representative Cory Mason of Racine has also had his name come up, along with Madison business leader Kevin Conroy.