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What to Know About Kevin Nicholson

AP: “Wisconsin Republicans worry about crowded Senate primary.”

After the Republicans’ first choice candidate refused to run, today Kevin Nicholson is announcing his Wisconsin Senate campaign — but he’s already faced attacks from his fellow potential Republican Senate candidates, and Wisconsin Republicans are worried about a “crowded” and “nasty” GOP primary.

From David Bergstein, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Spokesman: “Even Republicans agree: Kevin Nicholson is a political opportunist who will say and do anything to get elected, which is exactly why Wisconsin’s hard working families can’t trust him to look out for them. Whether he’s supporting the toxic GOP health care plan that will increase costs and strip coverage for hardworking families, or trying to mislead his fellow Republicans about his past in order to advance his political career, Nicholson has proven he’s only ever looking out for one person: Kevin Nicholson.”

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT NICHOLSON:

  • Nicholson isn’t the GOP’s first choice candidate, “which could create a messy primary.” “Top potential Senate candidates are turning down the opportunity to challenge vulnerable Senate Democrats…In Wisconsin, a state Trump won by less than a percentage point, leading potential challenger Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R) said he won’t run against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D). “This is not the right time to run for Senate,” he said in a statement, pointing to his eight kids. A couple of state lawmakers, a teacher, a Marine veteran and a businessman are all considering running, which could create a messy primary.” [Washington Post, 4/13/17]
  • AP: “Wisconsin Republicans worry about crowded Senate primary.” “Wisconsin Republicans are growing increasingly worried about the high number of candidates running in a primary to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, fearing a repeat of the crowded 2012 race that put her in office… That year four Republicans slugged it out in an expensive and negative primary that left nominee Tommy Thompson, the former four-term governor, bruised and broke.” [Associated Press, 5/7/17]
    • RealClear Politics: Republicans “expressed concern” about Wisconsin’s “crowded field.”  “Some [Republicans] expressed concern about…Wisconsin, where a wide array of businesspeople and state lawmakers are considering runs in what could become a crowded field with no clear frontrunner.” [RealClear Politics, 4/20/17]
    • In a straw poll of potential Senate candidates at the state Republican convention, Nicholson finished last, garnering only 4 percent. [FOX 6, 5/15/17]
  • Journal Sentinel: Nicholson’s past as a Democrat, his position as head of the College Democrats of America, and his 2000 speech at the DNC have Republicans attacking his credentials. “Someone secretly set up a website aimed at undermining Nicholson. The page includes an edited version of Nicholson’s speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2000 when, as the national head of the College Democrats of America, he spoke out in favor of abortion rights and endorsed Vice President Al Gore’s presidential bid.” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 4/3/17; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/11/17]
    • AP HEADLINE: “Wisconsin GOP Senate candidates’ vote records may haunt them.” ““Nicholson, a former Democrat, has been making the rounds on conservative talk radio to say repeatedly that he’s been a Republican since 2000. But he registered as a Democrat in 2005 and cast a vote in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary and general election while living in North Carolina. Nicholson says he voted “no preference” in the primary.”  [Associated Press, 5/5/17]
    • VIDEO: FOX 6 HEADLINE: Potential GOP U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson faces questions about his past as a Democrat. “Republican Kevin Nicholson, a potential 2018 candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, is questioning the accuracy of documents that contradict his previous statements about his voting record as a Democrat.” [Fox 6, 5/14/17]

  • Nicholson supports the toxic GOP health care bill that would spike costs and strip coverage for Wisconsinites, while the wealthy get a tax break. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 7/25/17]
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bice: Ex-college roommate chides Republican Kevin Nicholson over probable U.S. Senate bid“In the post, Tillotson said his former roommate was obsessed with becoming president… Nicholson, he said, was also concerned about getting photographed drinking beer or kissing his girlfriend in public for fear it might be used against him one day.” [Journal-Sentinel Bice, 7/11/17]

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