Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rolled out his official campaign today, becoming the 15th Republican running for the presidential nominee.
Here are 18 facts about the latest presidential candidate:
- Scott Walker’s father was a Baptist preacher at First Baptist Church in Iowa, while his mother ran Sunday school.
- His first endeavor in politics was at the age of eight, when he noticed that a city building didn’t have a state flag. He collected money in a mayonnaise jar, and bought a flag, according to WisconsinWatch.org.
- Walker became an Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts.
- He attended Marquette University, but left before graduation to take a job with the Red Cross. The last president without a college degree was Harry Truman, who was in office 62 years ago.
- He met his wife, Tonette, by slipping a note written on a napkin into her purse at a bar that had his number on it. She is 12 years older than him.
- Walker was elected to the Wisconsin State House in 1993, where he served for nine years, before being elected as Milwaukee County executive. He is the only Republican in history to hold that position.
- He ran for governor the first time in 2006, before dropping out quickly. He successfully ran again in 2010.
- According to CNN Politics, Walker makes candied pecans from scratch every year for the holidays to give out to media outlets, even after learning he was allergic to nuts.
- Walker rose to national prominence due to his controversial efforts over reforming laws related to public unions’ collective bargaining. He made Wisconsin a right-to-work state.
- His battle with the unions led to over 900,000 people signing petitions to force a recall election in Wisconsin, the first one in the state’s history.
- Walker won the recall in 2012 by a wider margin than his original election two years earlier, and secured re-election in 2014.
- He is the first governor to successfully survive a recall election in the history of the United States.
- He is known for his love of motorcycles, as he owns a 2003 Harley Davidson Road King, and participated in Sen. Joni Ernst’s, R-Iowa, “Roast and Ride” biker rally fundraiser this year.
- He wrote a book with Marc Thiessen based on his experiences as governor of Wisconsin called “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.”
- The Washington Post devoted an article to document Walker receiving a kiss from a 600-pound sea lion in the Milwaukee County Zoo.
- Walker told ABC News that if he was to win the White House, he would consider taking online classes and finishing up his college degree.
- He has two sons, Alex and Matt, who are planning to take a year off from college to help his campaign.
- Walker read an excerpt from the Christian devotional “Jesus Calling” and sent its sales skyrocketing, even topping the charts on Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestsellers list.