State News

Prominent GOP state lawmaker announces U.S. Senate run against Baldwin

State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, is running for U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin's seat.

Image By: Courtesy of Wisconsin State Legislature

Attacking U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin for siding “with liberal Democrats and Washington elites,” Leah Vukmir, a Republican state Senator, announced that she is running for Baldwin’s seat Thursday.

Vukmir, R-Brookfield, is a member of the powerful budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, but may be best-known among students for introducing a “free speech” bill that would allow UW System schools and technical colleges to expel students who impede free speech rights.

In a campaign video and announcement, Vukmir touted her credentials as a “consistent conservative.”

“As a nurse, it is in my nature to take action when things need to get done,” Vukmir said in a statement. “I stood with Gov. Walker and real conservatives to enact successful reforms that keep jobs here in Wisconsin, keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket and make our communities better places to raise a family.”

Vukmir is the second Republican candidate to announce she is running against Baldwin. Kevin Nicholson, a Marine veteran, announced his candidacy in July, and Madison businessman Eric Hovde has said he is considering running.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin attacked “extremist and newly announced Republican U.S. Senate candidate” Vukmir in a statement Thursday for her vote to eliminate the Working Families Tax Credit, which it said “lowers the tax burden on low income families.”

"Leah Vukmir and her Republican peers were given clear choices last night, and they chose the path of hurting hard-working Wisconsinites while sheltering wealthy people from having to pay income taxes," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning said in the release, referring to the Joint Finance Committee’s Wednesday vote to approve a 2017-19 two-year budget.

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