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Tom Barrett: 'I'm running for governor because I love this state'

CREATED Mar. 30, 2012 - UPDATED: Mar. 30, 2012

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  • Charles Benson reports Video by wtmj.com

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Watch Charles Benson's raw interview with Tom Barrett under Related Videos

MILWAUKEE- A huge day in the effort to recall Governor Scott Walker: The recall election is on and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he is in for the race.

Barrett tells TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Charles Benson he will hit the campaign trail this weekend.

It will be his third run for governor.  "I'm running for governor because I love this state," said Barrett.

Mayor Barrett believes there's too much at stake in this historic recall election to not give it another try.

"I think people in this state want a leader who will reestablish trust in this state and they want someone who can heal this state after 15 months of division and someone who will focus on creating jobs," said Barrett in an one-on-one interview with TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson
 
In 2010, Barrett had the backing of key unions, but this time around some labor leaders have told him to stay out of the race.  Barrett says he's not worried, he's promising to restore collective bargaining rights.

"I think public employees should be paying toward their pension and health care, something that I began under my leadership in the city of Milwaukee," said Barrett.  "But I think that could be done through collective bargaining and that's the fundamental difference."

Several big unions are backing former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

Falk said in a written statement: "I welcome Tom to this important race. I have a plan to reverse the damage that Governor Walker has done by bringing back openness, transparency, and accountability to government."

Barrett plans to reach out to the unions as well.  "I'm telling the people of this state, whether they are union members or not union members that I am the type of leader that this state is looking for right now."

Recent polls suggest Barrett is the front runner in the primary; Falk's campaign believe it has the edge.