Vuk­mir sug­gests GOP ri­val Ni­chol­son run for an­other of­fice

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - NEWS - BILL GLAUBER

Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than two months af­ter en­ter­ing the race for U.S. Sen­ate, Leah Vuk­mir sug­gested this week that Re­pub­li­can ri­val Kevin Ni­chol­son run for an­other of­fice and gain ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore mak­ing a bid for high of­fice.

Maybe Ni­chol­son, 39, should con­sider run­ning for state As­sem­bly or Sen­ate, she said.

The Jour­nal Sen­tinel ob­tained a tape of Vuk­mir’s com­ments that she made dur­ing an ap­pear­ance Mon­day be­fore Re­pub­li­can ac­tivists in Man­i­towoc.

Vuk­mir, 59, a state se­na­tor from Brook­field, is cam­paign­ing on her ex­pe­ri­ence in help­ing craft Wis­con­sin’s con­ser­va­tive agenda over the past decade. Ni­chol­son — a De­lafield busi­ness­man, Marine vet­eran and for­mer Demo­crat — is billing him­self as a po­lit­i­cal out­sider.

On Mon­day, Vuk­mir of­fered her most pointed crit­i­cisms of her op­po­nent so far when an au­di­ence mem­ber asked her if she knew much about Ni­chol­son.

She said they had stumped to­gether in var­i­ous places, and she spoke highly of his ser­vice as a Marine.

“But, other than that, I will say I think what peo­ple are look­ing for is some­body with a proven, con­sis­tent track record,” she said. “You know my track record as a con­ser­va­tive. You’ll have to ask him what his is be­cause I don’t know what his record is other than what he tells us what it is.

“And I think that to run for one of the high­est of­fices in the land, and to be able to make a dif­fer­ence when you’re in there, it’s go­ing re­quire some­one who’s had, who’s kind of gone through the po­lit­i­cal trenches that we’ve gone through. And you know, great, maybe he could run for state As­sem­bly, state Sen­ate and de­velop that,” she said.

She also dis­missed one of Ni­chol­son’s com­mon themes that he is fol­low­ing the path of an­other for­mer Demo­crat turned Re­pub­li­can, Ron­ald Rea­gan.

“You know, Ron­ald Rea­gan spent 20 years in the con­ser­va­tive move­ment be­fore he ran for gover­nor,” Vuk­mir said.

Vuk­mir meant to say that Rea­gan was in the con­ser­va­tive move­ment for 20 years be­fore be­com­ing pres­i­dent.

Michael Antonopou­los, a Ni­chol­son spokesman, re­sponded: “While Se­na­tor Vuk­mir was work­ing her way up through the ‘po­lit­i­cal trenches,’ Kevin was serv­ing in com­bat mis­sions in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep Amer­ica safe.”

“Only a pro­fes­sional politi­cian would dream of say­ing that a Marine vet­eran and busi­ness­man needs more qual­i­fi­ca­tions be­fore run­ning for the U.S. Sen­ate,” he added. “Kevin is proud to be a po­lit­i­cal out­sider whose record is fight­ing for our coun­try, lead­ing our na­tion’s finest war­riors and solv­ing the tough­est problems that busi­nesses face. As Pres­i­dent (Don­ald) Trump and U.S. Se­na­tor (Ron) John­son have proven, Wis­con­sin con­ser­va­tives want po­lit­i­cal out­siders to shake up Wash­ing­ton.”

Vuk­mir and Ni­chol­son are run­ning for the GOP nom­i­na­tion to take on Demo­cratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Bald­win next year.

Kevin Ni­chol­son (left) and Leah Vuk­mir (right) are Re­pub­li­can can­di­dates for U.S. Sen­ate.

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