There are many Scott Walkers in the world, and quite a lot of Tom Barretts as well, only two of whom are running for governor of Wisconsin.
In fact, there are at least three more of each in Milwaukee alone, according to online directories, and no doubt they take some ribbing from friends and likely get some unusual comments from strangers for their names' sake alone.
But it's unlikely even these homegrown soundalikes are as often mistaken for a certain candidate in the upcoming election as is a Louisiana man well known in his own right – Scott Walker, news anchor at WDSU TV in New Orleans.
"The other Scott Walker," as he has taken to calling himself lately, has been hearing about his Wisconsin doppelganger for years, and more and more in the past year.
As the recall race has come down toward the wire, the misplaced attention has gotten to the point that Walker felt compelled to respond with an open letter on his personal website.
My open letter to the people of Wisconsin:
I had a chance to spend time in your great state last September. I was in Green Bay for the Saints/Packers season opener and was very impressed with your hospitality. But I did, in fact, leave. I’ve only been in your state one other time, and that was during a visit to Kohler in 1998. I say this to assure you I’m not your governor and this isn’t his website. You should see the traffic I’m getting from Wisconsin!
As you’re well aware, your governor, Scott Walker, is set to face a recall election on June 5. I fully expect visits to this site and emails to increase exponentially in the coming days. And that’s fine. I’ll be just as welcoming to you here as you were to me there.
There are people though who are a bit confused, like the person who tweeted his family’s support to me this morning. There are many others like him. Reach out to them. Reveal the truth. Let them know that I have much better hair than your Scott Walker…and I’ll be in New Orleans anchoring the news on June 5.
The OTHER Scott Walker
Actually, as he dashed off his letter, Walker apparently forgot one other visit he had made to Wisconsin – one that introduced him to "that" Scott Walker and changed the course of his own life.
"It started in 2005, when I interviewed for a job at WISN (Channel 12-Milwaukee)," Walker said in a phone interview. "They were, like, 'Scott Walker, huh? That's the name of our county executive.'
"I thought, wouldn't it be interesting to be doing the news here, saying 'Hi, I'm Scott Walker.'
The two didn't meet, and although Walker didn't take the job because of family concerns – his wife was expecting their first child – the WISN station manager who had made him the offer called him back after she made a move to Orlando, FL, and hired him there.
In his 17-year career, Walker has never left the South, working in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and now Louisiana.
"It (WISN) was a great job opportunity," Walker said, "but in the end, I didn't have to move to cold weather."
Walker also didn't mention in his letter that when he visited Lambeau Field in September he got another surprising tweet – from the by-then governor.
"He said, 'Welcome to Wisconsin, it's great to have another Scott Walker here. We should meet.'
"So I tweeted back, 'Yes, let's meet!
They did, in the legendary Lambeau tunnel, and Walker not only met Walker but interviewed him on camera, giving him a nice feature spot for the hometown folks in the Big Easy.
Interestingly, WISN relocated the southern Walker and interviewed him in turn in an amusing piece in which Walker and his news team are assigned a room that is wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling coated with Packers colors and emblems.
Along with that recent "random tweet" that drove him to set the record straight, Walker said, "I have a lot of people following me who, I think, had the wrong Scott Walker, and every day, there is a ton of traffic on my web site from Wisconsin."
A lot of that began after the Lambeau interview, he said, and so may be just new fans he earned from his visit.
Most of it, anyway, just seems to be curiosity, with some well-wishers but no charged messages one way or the other.
"Although I know he's not the most popular guy with some people up there, there's been no hatred toward me," Walker said. "I have tweeted a couple of times, 'Hey, I'm not that Scott Walker' – and a couple of people did tweet back, 'Oh, good. If you were that one, I'd stop following you.'
"But nothing more negative than that."