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WisPolitics: Graul: Previews '06 Political Landscape from Green Campaign View

Mark Graul has been with Mark Green for most of Graul's young working life, so he knows his candidate

Graul now is campaign manager for the Green Bay congressman's Republican run for governor. And he'll need all that background and intuition to succeed in the biggest test yet for this Republican strategist

Graul on Aug. 10 was the subject of a ``TalkAboutLive @ WisPolitics.com'' Web cast interview at the Madison offices of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek Government Affairs. It's the first in a planned series of Web cast interviews with the gubernatorial campaign managers. Invitations went out to the campaign managers for Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Green; Graul was the first to accept

Graul takes a mixed view of the coming Green primary against Walker. ``It's caused both candidates to be out there aggressively. Here we are well over a year before the election and both candidates and both campaigns have really been going full bore for at least a few months now. So I think that part is good. I think there's a lot of interest and a lot of attention to this campaign, which the primary is helping to foster. ...(But) is it fun to run against somebody you consider a friend? No, that's not very much fun.''

Graul says the differences between Green and Walker come down to Green having a broader experience level and being better prepared to be governor

As to Doyle, Graul says it comes down to how voters will connect with the candidates

``Ultimately what I think is going to separate Mark from Gov. Doyle is that when people go into the voting booth next November, they're going to say: `Which guy do I feel more comfortable with? Which guy do I connect with more?''' Graul said. ``People are paying more in taxes because of Jim Doyle, the state government spending is going up because of Jim Doyle, and he just simply does not share the values of most folks in main street Wisconsin.''

In 2004, Graul served as Wisconsin executive director for President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign. Graul came to the Bush campaign from Green's congressional office where he was chief of staff from 1999-2003. He ran Green’s winning campaign in 1998 – which was the only campaign in the country to unseat an incumbent House Democrat that year Prior to that, Graul worked in the Wisconsin State Assembly for then-state Representative Green, Representative Scott Jensen and then-state Representative Peggy Rosenzweig He also served as an alderman in Fitchburg, a suburb of Madison, from 1995-1996. Graul grew up in Wauwatosa, is a 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and lives in the Green Bay suburb of Howard with his wife Patty and their dog Glenn

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