Contact: Christine Welcher
Campaign Manager
Phone: 608-279-2733
Email address:

MARCH 22, 2018 – Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe today pledged allegiance to all of the people of Wisconsin and not to any party, making him the one and only candidate running in the Democratic primary to publicly withhold a promise to endorse whoever wins the party’s nomination on August 14.

McCabe’s campaign issued the following statement expressing his thoughts on the matter:

“I am running for governor to serve the people of our state, not a political party. I will gladly make a Badger Pledge, but not a Donkey Pledge. I understand the impulse behind the question party insiders keep asking, but it is a losing impulse.

Democrats didn’t lose more than a thousand seats in Congress and state legislatures and governor’s offices throughout the country in the last decade because they have not been unified. They’ve lost so much ground because too many voters out there aren’t sure where Democrats stand and don’t trust Democrats to act on their behalf. Democrats don’t hold fewer offices across America than at any time since the 1920s because of a lack of party unity. What’s been missing is clarity of purpose and the courage of conviction.

Swearing a party loyalty oath sends the exact wrong message to the growing masses of people who are sick and tired of partisan gridlock in our government and politicians putting the best interests of their party ahead of what’s best for our state and our country. The voters who will decide this next election for governor are not sitting up at night wondering if all the Democratic candidates will support each other, they are questioning if they can count on a Democrat to look out for them.

In any case, endorsements are earned, not inherited simply because of a party label. The rest of the Democratic candidates are becoming more closely aligned with my vision for Wisconsin with each passing week. I was the first in this race to call for making BadgerCare a public health insurance option for everyone in the state, and now virtually the entire field has joined me in taking that position. I also was the first in the field to call for full legalization of marijuana, and nearly all the other candidates now are supporting it too. They’re sounding more like me all the time. They’re even dressing more like me.

I still have two questions for the others in the race that will weigh heavily in earning my endorsement should someone other than me win the August 14 primary election: Going forward, will you stop playing along with the corrupt campaign finance system that amounts to legal bribery and fund your campaign with large numbers of small donations from regular people rather than relying on wealthy donors and special interest political action committees? For the remainder of your campaign, will you lead by example by accepting no single donation over $200 and no more than a total of $1,000 from any supporter?

A new governor can and will be elected in 2018, but only if what’s best for all of Wisconsin is put ahead of party loyalty and the wishes of those at the very top who make a regular habit of giving mammoth donations to those seeking public office. After August 14, regardless of the outcome of the primary election, whether I win or lose, I will keep working to shake up and transform the political system that serves those at the top so well and will do everything in my power to get regular people in the driver’s seat of our government.”

State law allows candidates for governor in Wisconsin to take $20,000 checks from individuals and $86,000 donations from political action committees. Once elected, McCabe will push for passage of a package of reforms that sharply lower those limits. He isn’t waiting until after the election to act, however. He is running his campaign with a self-imposed limit on donations, accepting no single contribution of more than $200. Supporters are allowed to give more than once but not more than $200 at a time and no more than a total of $1,000 for the entire campaign.

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