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Tuesday, January 18th, 2005 -- 10:20 AM

The 2006 Governor?s race isn?t exactly creeping up on us just yet ? but, if you listen to certain Republicans, you?d think the race were next month.

Rep. Mark Green says Gov. Jim Doyle is an out-of-touch Madison liberal. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker says the governor just doesn't understand how most Wisconsinites think.

Sounds like a couple of Republicans gearing up their campaigns for governor.

Almost two years before voters will go to the polls, Green and Walker sent signals last week they intend to seek the GOP nomination to run for governor, stepping up their criticisms of Doyle, a Democrat. Neither has committed to the race yet. But Walker said it would take something drastic to keep him out, and Green sent an e-mail to Republican leaders last week to let them know he's moving toward launching his campaign.

Assembly Speaker John Gard, R-Peshtigo, also is weighing whether to run.

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