Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Kevin Nicholson

Kevin Nicholson Drops Out of Race

This was the correct move for his political future and for the benefit of Wisconsin in this race. Classy bow out. I look forward to him continuing to advance conservatism in Wisconsin for years to come.


DELAFIELD, Wis. –– Today, Kevin Nicholson, a Marine Corps combat veteran, political outsider, and a Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor, released the following statement announcing he is suspending his campaign:


“When my family and I started this campaign, we knew it would be an uphill battle. I am not part of the insider political class and am a threat to all they hold dear. 

We have had many highs over the last six months, and I am proud of what we have built. I’ve traveled our state and heard from thousands of Wisconsinites who believe our society is off track, who want an outsider as their governor, and not someone from the Madison Machine. 

I have been encouraged by our supporters, and the old and new friends that my family and I have met on the trail. I love this state and the people in it and truly believe that – though we face great challenges – our best days lay ahead.

Over the past week, I have assessed the state of the primary race and it has become clear to me and my team the only path forward for our campaign is attacking the other candidates in the race on the airwaves and running a very negative campaign. While our team has the capability to do that, that is not something I want to do – nor do I believe that it would be good for the party to do so. This election is too important for our state and our movement.

So today, I am suspending my campaign for Governor. I want to thank all the thousands of people who have donated, volunteered, and supported my campaign. It has been an honor.

I do not plan to make any endorsements in the race before the primary. I will whole heartily support the nominee on August 10th and will work to get Republicans up and down the ballot elected. Our fight is not over, and I will continue to be engaged on the battlefield to elect conservative outsiders in the state of Wisconsin.”

Kevin will join Mark Belling on News/Talk 1130 WISN during the 5 o’clock hour of the show to further discuss his decision.

What happens to the 10% of Republicans who were supporting Nicholson? My guess is that they follow his lead and will come out to vote. My further guess is that they will split relatively evenly between Michels and Kleefisch with a small percentage going to Ramthun. But it’s just a guess.

Kevin Nicholson Called Out for Dishonest Campaign


Nicholson running an ad trying to show that Vukmir is insufficiently pro-Trump is just dishonest and insulting to Republican voters’ intelligence. Maybe Nicholson is right with this gamble. Maybe he can get away with lying about Vukmir’s record. And since his campaign is staffed by “outsiders,” none of them will pay a price for their dishonesty, including those that have also criticized Trump in 2016 like consultant Jeff Roe. He predicted the Republican Party would have to change its name if Trump was nominated.

This level of dishonesty by Nicholson calls into question his honesty about everything else he has said in the campaign. When ambition means more to a former U.S. Marine than honor, when truth is just an inconvenience, then Nicholson is not fighting “the swamp.” He’s bringing “the swamp” to Wisconsin politics, and he is a creature of the swamp’s making.

James Wigderson

Wigderson is correct. I would add that many Conservatives really like Nicholson’s messaging and stances on the issues. They are identical to Leah Vukmir’s. The difference is that Vukmir has 20 years of proven performance in office supporting the issues important to Conservatives and Nicholson gives a good speech. I take Nicholson’s conversion from passionate liberal to passionate conservative at face value. Such a conversion often happens as people mature. But given the choice of two solid conservatives – one with a record and one without – I’m going to go with the safer choice of the one with a record. Past performance is often a great predictor of future performance. Vukmir has performed wonderfully on behalf of conservatives in the Wisconsin legislature and I expect her to do the same in the U.S. Senate.

For those who are supporting Nicholson, I understand it and I appreciate the assets that Nicholson brings to the table in a campaign against Baldwin. But Nicholson’s conservative supporters do have to take it as an article of faith that he is telling the truth about his conservatism. They have to trust him. But his recent decision to outright lie about a fellow conservative undermines that trust. If he is willing to lie about Vukmir’s record and allow his surrogates to deny her proven conservatism, is he willing to lie about being Pro-Life? Is he willing to lie about being pro-2nd Amendment? Is he willing to lie about being a fiscal hawk? Is he willing to lie… about being a conservative?

I don’t know, but his recent behavior sure introduces some doubt.

Nicholson Paid By Democrats in 2002


GOP U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson Tuesday brushed off reports he was paid by the Democratic Party for campaign work as late as 2002, despite previously claiming he was “absolutely sure” he was not a Dem after speaking at the party’s 2000 national convention.

Federal Election Commission filings show the GOP U.S. Senate candidate was paid a total of $7,315 in 2002 by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party for administrative and voter drive work.

Nicholson questioned the significance of him being paid by the party in 2002 given previous reporting showing he was a registered Democrat in 2004. Records show he registered as a Dem when he moved to North Carolina in 2005.

“Whatever campaign work I did in 2002 predates 2004, so why we’re even talking about this I don’t know,” Nicholson told reporters after a luncheon at the Madison Club. “I wasn’t happy with the Democratic Party. I didn’t think they had common sense, but I wasn’t ready to give up on a label at that point in my life. But I got there in a relatively short amount of time.”

We’re talking about it, Mr. Nicholson, because you were not just a Democrat… you were an activist, paid Democrat functionary… until you weren’t. But there isn’t any evidence of you putting that much effort into being a Republican… ever. And now you want my vote to be elected to one of the highest political offices in the state.

It’s an issue for me.

Sen.Tammy Baldwin to face a tough re-election

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

The next big election is 14 months away, but the electoral combatants are already sallying onto the field. Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin will be seeking her second term and the liberal backbencher is facing a formidable challenge.

Baldwin’s resume is notable for its remarkable lack of achievement. Born and bred in the belly of liberal Madison, Baldwin was first elected to the Dane County Board during law school in 1986. She graduated from law school in 1989, worked as a lawyer for three years, and then became a full time politician in 1992 when she was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly. In 1998, Baldwin was sent by Madison to Washington as their representative in the House of Representatives, and was then swept into the U.S. Senate by the Obama wave in 2012.

It is difficult to serve in public office for more than 30 years, get elected to higher offices, and not have a single achievement to one’s credit, but Tammy Baldwin has accomplished that incredible feat. The secret to Baldwin’s success is that she is gay and a liberal’s liberal who reliably supports every leftist idea proffered. This attracts gobs of money from every liberal/socialist/Marxist PAC and activist group throughout the nation.

Most recently, she gave her fullthroated support to complete socialist health care in the failure of Obamacare. This is particularly ironic given that Baldwin callously ignored repeated cries for help from abuse taking place at the Tomah VA Medical Center. Why would anyone want to hand over more control of our healthcare to politicians like Tammy Baldwin?

Without Obama on the ballot next year, Baldwin is vulnerable to a credible challenge. So far, two formidable and well-funded Republicans are vying for the opportunity to be the senator that Wisconsin deserves. There is still time for more candidates to enter the fray, but the window is closing.

Kevin Nicholson is a Marine combat veteran who now works in the private sector. Nicholson defines himself as a social and fiscal conservative who is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-strong national security, etc. Running for office for the first time, Nicholson relishes his status as an outsider who can attack the liberal redoubts in Washington.

Nicholson does, however, have a nagging problem in his resume. He used to be a vocal, activist Democrat. When he was in college, Nicholson served as the chairman of the College Democrats and was eventually the national president for the College Democrats of America. At that time, he was pro-choice and spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Of course, Nicholson would not be the first person to convert from liberalism to conservatism with the advancement of age, life experience and wisdom. Some of the best-known, thoughtful, and stalwart conservatives in the nation used to be liberals.

The other Republican seeking to challenge Tammy Baldwin has no such history to overcome. Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir has been a proven, reliable, accomplished conservative Republican for more than a decade. Vukmir is a registered nurse who worked as a nurse for more than 20 years before running for the Wisconsin Assembly in 2002 to replace Scott Walker. Vukmir was then elected to the State Senate in 2010.

Vukmir has been one of the driving forces in the Wisconsin conservative movement for her entire tenure in office. She has been instrumental in advancing school choice, tax reform, education reform, healthcare reform and every other pillar of the conservative agenda. It is difficult to name a conservative issue in which Vukmir was not a staunch defender and advocate. All the while, Vukmir has maintained her career as a registered nurse.

While I don’t doubt the sincerity of Nicholson’s conservative conversion, there is no need to put it to its first political test in the crucible of Washington when there is already a proven conservative candidate in Leah Vukmir. She has been a granite conservative throughout all of the tempests in Madison and would serve Wisconsin well in the U.S. Senate.

Nicholson Announces for Senate

No thanks.

Businessman and former Marine Kevin Nicholson announced today he will run for the U.S. Senate, the first Republican candidate to officially launch a bid to challenge Dem Tammy Baldwin.

three-minute announcement video Nicholson released this morning called him a “conservative warrior with the guts to fight Washington” and a conservative outsider. It highlighted his combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Bronze Star he was awarded.

Nicholson also acknowledged in the video he was once a Democrat, which has become a point of contention in the possible GOP primary. But he said since those “younger days,” he’s had three kids, fought in two wars and been in businesses around the world.


Nicholson has faced questions over his political past, including including serving as national president of the College Democrats and his 2008 vote in the Dem presidential primary while stationed in North Carolina.

I understand that people’s political philosophies evolve as they mature, but I’m not ready to put him in the U.S. Senate as his first foray into conservative politics.

Uihlein Backing Nicholson


Illinois businessman Richard Uihlein has now donated a total of $3.5 million toward a super PAC supporting Republican Kevin Nicholson’s potential campaign for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat.

Uihlein, who is one of the nation’s biggest Republican donors, founded the Pleasant Prairie-based Uline company.

He gave $2 million earlier this year to start the super PAC “Solutions for Wisconsin.” A spokesman said Uihlein donated another $1.5 million last quarter.

So far, Uihlein is the super PAC’s only donor.

Solutions for Wisconsin is focused exclusively on supporting the potential U.S. Senate bid of Kevin Nicholson, a Marine veteran, businessman and former Democrat.

“I strongly encourage others to support this effort and avoid a repeat of 2012’s divisive Republican primary,” Uihlein said in a statement released Wednesday.

While I appreciate Uihlein being willing to seriously support an effort to defeat Senator Baldin, his choice of candidate leaves something to be desired. Could he put his money behind a real Republican instead?



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