Outagamie County Exec Tom Nelson, coming off a 25-point loss for the 8th CD last year, isn’t ruling out anything for 2018.
Nelson has been regularly sending fundraising appeals through his email list, catching the attention of some insiders on whether he’s planning a bid next year.
He insisted in an interview with WisPolitics.com he’s just reaching out to his more than 100,000 supporters on various issues. But pressed several times, he did not rule out a run for state office next year.
“People have approached me, but I’ve very happy being county executive,” Nelson said.
Nelson, a former state lawmaker, ran for lt. guv in 2010, losing on a ticket with Tom Barrett. He then won his county exec seat and was recruited to run for the 8th CD last year after then-Rep. Reid Ribble decided against seeking re-election. But as Donald Trump won Wisconsin, he lost to Republican Mike Gallagher, who took 62.65 percent of the vote.
In addition to his regular fundraising pitches, Nelson had a confrontation with Gov. Scott Walker during a Fox Valley appearance that caught national attention.
In a late May fundraising pitch Nelson wrote about the exchange, saying the guv “scurried in retreat after I asked him a simple question. He should make a commitment that he will not make TrumpCare worse by removing protections for those Wisconsinites who need help the most.”
He added in the email, “I will not back down, but I need your help” before asking for a donation.