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 WisPolitics.com 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.”
During the luncheon, Nicholson emphasized that he has been endorsed by several prominent conservatives, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and influential conservative groups, such as the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Great America PAC. He emphasized that he now believes conservative principles and policies are what make people prosperous.
But after hearing the reports of Nicholson’s 2002 Democratic political involvement, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said Nicholson cannot be trusted.
“Kevin Nicholson has consistently proven that Wisconsinites cannot take him at his word; he clearly has a problem with telling the truth, and all we know for sure is that he’ll take on any position his out-of-state billionaire backers too him to embrace,” said DPW spokesman Brad Bainum.
The Vukmir campaign also reiterated the Brookfield senator’s devotion to the GOP.
“Leah Vukmir is a lifelong Republican, and proud of it. She has been devoted to stapling yard signs, knocking on doors and working to advance the Republican Party and conservative policies,” said campaign spokeswoman Jessica Ward.
Still, Nicholson said he believes his Democratic past puts him at an advantage if he were to advance to the general election.
“In our state we have … probably hundreds of thousands of people that were at one point a Democrat or thought they were a Democrat but today are voting for Republicans even if they don’t call themselves a Republican, or aren’t really sure what party they are. That’s not unusual. They will completely understand the process I went through because I went through it at the same time that they did,” Nicholson said.
See more in Friday’s REPORT.