All Signs Point to Presidential Bid for Governor Scott Walker

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It's a question Governor Scott Walker has avoided for quite some time.

NewsChannel 7 asked the Republican about aspirations for the presidency back in 2013.

"I'm not prepared to make any announcement one way or the other now. That's going to be a big part of my decision, is what does it mean to the people of Wisconsin. And right now, I think a lot of people would just like to have a governor who's focused on Wisconsin and that's where my heart is," he said.

It was a similar story a year later.

"It's in my best interest to make sure I keep property taxes down, I continue to push reform, I continue to see education scores increasing here in the state of Wisconsin, because voters not here but across the country are going to say is this guy's state working alright?," he stated.

But UW Stevens Point political science professor Dennis Riley says Walker's recent actions-leasing office space in Iowa and hiring advisers in New Hampshire-are a dead giveaway he'll run for president.

"He will do it. He will make the plunge," Riley said.

Riley says Iowa holds nominating caucuses to select presidential candidates, while New Hampshire holds a primary election to narrow them down. It's all part of what he says is an effort to gain early momentum to stand out from the field of other Republican competition, and make a bigger name for himself.

But he adds before any bid for the White House becomes official, Walker will need to tackle issues in Wisconsin-primarily the controversial state budget, which includes slashing funding to UW schools and borrowing more than $1 billion toward transportation.

"He's got that to worry about. The size of the UW cut, the size of the public school changes, the DNR changes," Riley explained. "He's got some serious stuff going on that he'll need to be personally involved in."

He says when everything is said and done, expect to hear an announcement later this year.

"I think that will take him until early summer," Riley said. "He's up in the polls, he's being talked about on national television, he's got everything he wants right now, and I think he'll probably just sit tight for a while."