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Eau Claire union members disappointed, optimistic after Walker win

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Wisconsin teacher unions are now dealing with the reality of Gov. Scott Walker remaining in office.

As Republicans celebrated Walker's recall win, the remaining 47 percent of voters including Democrats and union leaders, said they're looking to move on.

Eau Claire Association of Educators President and South Middle School eighth-grade teacher Ron Martin said he hopes representatives will now make stronger efforts to unite the state.

"We thought we presented a pretty good case but I guess the public didn't see it that way and the outcome wasn't favorable. We know we have some work to do now and we're ready to do it," Martin said.

"In the last year, those representatives haven't been responsive (to us) I hope they start to listen," he said.

After such a polarizing recall election, teachers shared mixed feelings of optimism and disappointment, in Walker's win.

"He's made it clear that divide and conquer is his strategy, yesterday, he seemed to indicate that that won't change, but we hope it will," Paul Bowman, fourth-grade teacher for Northwoods Elementary in Eau Claire said.

"It's hard to trust elected officials after they say different things, behind closed doors. (Walker) has to build trust or our state will continue to be divided," Martin said.

"We're disappointed, but we're here today for the kids and we'll continue to be here for the students fighting to give them the best education we can give them," Bowman said.

"We're still a part of Wisconsin. We're still part of the state. We're a taxpayer, a community member. We still need to be represented, we still have a voice," Martin said.

"Educators will continue to support pro-education candidates, we'll continue to lobby for them ... We're divided over many political issues, but I don't think we're divided on what we want for our children, my children and all the children of Eau Claire," Bowman said.


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