FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2018
CONTACT: Maria Langholz (715) 209-6463
People-led campaign elevates four candidates eligible for Wisconsin’s Choice endorsement; thousands of pledged volunteer hours
MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin’s Choice voters have chosen Mike McCabe, Mahlon Mitchell, Kelda Roys, and Kathleen Vinehout as finalists in the campaign’s second round of voting, held from June 4 – 7. Participants also passed the Uniting Wisconsin pledge, asks the final four candidates to “unite together after August 14th and support the [Wisconsin’s Choice participating] candidate who can defeat the Walker agenda.” All four candidates have committed to upholding this pledge. The campaign now moves to its third and final round, leading to the announcement of the “People’s Champion” on July 23, ahead of the August 14 Democratic primary.
Participation in the vote was 50 percent higher than in the first round of voting as result of dozens of volunteer-hosted house parties held across the state, communications from the candidates to their supporters, and a campaign media blitz. In a primary where a candidate could win with only 20 percent of the vote, the Wisconsin’s Choice campaign is a gamechanger.
“Wisconsin’s Choice is creating interest and adding value to the daunting task that voters face: sifting through the qualifications and policy positions of the crowded field. The status quo way of doing politics has not resulted in victories for working families in our state. It’s time for change. We are engaging in this race early, and getting people excited by hosting house parties and providing opportunities for direct engagement with the candidates. We’re building a powerful base of people across the state who are fired up, united, and ready to work on behalf of the People’s Champion. This is how we win,” said Marina Dimitrijevic, Executive Director of Wisconsin Working Families Party.
In order to vote, Wisconsin’s Choice activists were asked to pledge to one action on behalf of either the Wisconsin’s Choice campaign or one of the candidates. This pledge resulted in a total of over 7,500 volunteer hours which are to be performed between now and the beginning of the third round vote in mid-July.
Wisconsin’s Choice now moves to its third and final round. The vote will be open from July 16-19. Between now and that time, the campaign will provide further opportunities for engagement with the candidates, including forums and additional issue-focused videos; and will host a second round of house parties to increase engagement in the final round. In order to win the title of People’s Champion, a candidate will need to receive 50 percent +1 of the vote.
The final four candidates will be invited to attend all future Wisconsin’s Choice events.
“We demand solutions to the pressing issues that really matter to the people of Wisconsin — like creating an economy that works for everyone not just the few, funding for public education, quality healthcare for all, reforming the criminal justice system, and protecting our water and other natural resources. This people-powered campaign provides the space for Wisconsinites to engage in crucial conversations about our shared values, and build support for a candidate who will fight for our issues as governor.” added Sarah Lloyd, Co-Chair of Our Wisconsin Revolution.
Wisconsin’s Choice is changing the conversation about what strategic engagement in elections looks like. The campaign is being recognized in the media (see Cap Times editorial) for being a rigorous and fair way for concerned residents to discern between candidates in the crowded field. The candidates value the campaign and are serious about vying for the Wisconsin’s Choice endorsement. The majority of candidates were in attendance at the first nine events; have completed questionnaires and created videos for the campaign’s website; and are encouraging their supporters to participate in Wisconsin’s Choice.
The following candidates were unsuccessful in garnering the votes necessary to move forward in the Wisconsin’s Choice process: Tony Evers, Matt Flynn, Andy Gronik, Mayor Paul Soglin, and Rep. Dana Wachs.
Quote from the candidates on the Wisconsin’s Choice second round results
Mike McCabe: “I pledge to support the People’s Champion who will fight for our shared values and the People of Wisconsin.”
Mahlon Mitchell: “Fighting for better wages, working conditions and a safety net for working families across Wisconsin has been my passion, so I’m honored that hardworking Wisconsinites have stuck by me throughout the People’s Champion campaign. Wisconsinites are enthusiastic, engaged and eager for new leadership that will usher in a Wisconsin that works for everyone – fair wages, a growing economy, fully funded school systems and quality, affordable healthcare. I can’t wait to make that a reality for our state.”
Kelda Roys: “I am grateful for the tremendous support and enthusiasm our campaign is receiving from voters across Wisconsin. We are building a movement to bridge Wisconsin’s divides, solve our common challenges, and restore opportunity and fairness to the state that we all love. As our momentum continues to build, it is clear that voters are excited to have someone to vote for, not just something to vote against.”
Kathleen Vinehout: “Thank you to all the voters who supported me in the Wisconsin Choice poll. I am grateful and will continue to work to earn the votes of all Democrats who will be voting in the August 14 primary to select a candidate to take on Scott Walker in November. I have never before seen this much enthusiasm to get involved in elections coupled with the willingness to work by so many people. Democracy moves forward on the feet of those who walk their neighborhoods, knocking on doors, talking to voters.”