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Local GOP party chair: Senate battle between Vukmir, Nicholson to last until primary



One thing seems relatively certain about the Wisconsin senate campaign for Republicans — they still have two candidates.

State Sen. Leah Vukmir secured her party’s endorsement by a 3-to-1 margin over Kevin Nicholson during this past weekend’s GOP convention.

“She really needed this to make a race out of it,” La Crosse County Republican Party chair Bill Feehan said. “And, so it’s going to be really interesting to see who prevails in that primary in August. Obviously, Kevin Nicholson is not going anywhere.”

And that’s the part that hasn’t changed, says Feehan. There are still two candidates to battle it out through August.

With the outsider and converted democrat, Kevin Nicholson so far being the best funded of the two but the GOP endorsement giving a big boost to Vukmir.

“That probably means you’re going to end up on phone calls and get financial backing,” Feehan said. “And there are a lot of donors who are going to look at that endorsement and decide it’s OK to give Leah money.”

Feehan, who is also the vice-chair of the 3rd district GOP, says Nicholson donors won’t necessarily flip to Vukmir after the endorsement because those are the groups — like Club for Growth — supporting outsider type candidates. Feehan says that’s definitely not Vukmir who, he says, has the backing in the party from the grassroots local activists all the way up to Gov. Walker.

Walker has yet to endorse either candidate.

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