Adam Wollner from National Journal wrote a piece about conservative talk radio’s influence in Wisconsin and several hosts’ thoughts on the U.S. Senate race to beat incumbent liberal Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Read the story here.
Below are some excerpts:
“There’s perhaps no other state where conservative talk radio has played as outsized of a role in Republican politics as it has in Wisconsin…. Now their attention is on the burgeoning Senate race, which will be one of the most hotly contested of next year’s midterms. Many hosts in the state were already partial to state Sen. Leah Vukmir, a strong Walker ally who has been a regular on their programs during her 15 years in the legislature.”
“[Radio host Mark] Belling said he doesn’t plan on making an official endorsement in the race, and hopes to have both candidates continue to appear on his show in the coming months. But he’s been effusive in his praise of Vukmir, saying she is ‘maybe the best Republican member of the entire state legislature.’
“Others are ready to pick sides. [Jerry] Bader, of WTAQ in Green Bay, says he’s only waiting to see if Eric Hovde, a Madison investor who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2012, jumps into the race. If he doesn’t, Bader said in an interview, there’s ‘virtually zero doubt’ he’ll endorse Vukmir. ‘I have no intentions of supporting the Bannon candidate in this race,’ he recently said on his show.”
“For these radio hosts, the term ‘establishment’ doesn’t ring true for Vukmir, despite her relatively long tenure as an elected official. Unlike at the national level, Republican leadership and the grassroots have largely been aligned in Wisconsin. Over the past seven years of statehouse control, they’ve worked together to pass a laundry list of conservative policies, ranging from right-to-work to voter ID to abortion restrictions.
“‘I think Leah Vukmir—and again, I’m not endorsing anybody—I think she’s a strong conservative candidate, and if people try to come in and say that she’s something other than that, there’s going to be a backlash,’ said [Jeff] Wagner, who hosts a morning show on WTMJ in Milwaukee. ‘Because we know her.'”
Read the full article from the National Journal here.
Leah Vukmir is a nurse, military mom and conservative with a proven record of reform who is running to bring the Wisconsin Way to Washington. She currently serves as a state senator from Brookfield.
Click here for a high-res headshot of Leah Vukmir.