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Senate candidate Nelson checks off La Crosse, other western Wisconsin counties during tour



Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold made it his mission to visit every county in the Badger State, every year he was in office. 

Other recent Senators have not done that. One Democrat running for Feingold’s old seat, however, is trying to complete the 72-county trip this summer.

Arriving in La Crosse on Thursday, Tom Nelson checked off his 41st county on the map.

Nelson said he wants people in every county to feel that elected leaders care about them.

“There are a lot of folks that believe that they don’t get enough attention,” Nelson told reporters. “I was up in Rusk County and Iron County, and they couldn’t remember the last time a U.S. Senate candidate came through.”

Nelson serves as the Outagamie County executive in Appleton, Wis. He’s among 11 Democrats now running to unseat the Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who defeated Feingold in two consecutive elections.

Johnson has not announced yet whether he will seek a third term in 2022.

Nelson believes he can draw support from both major parties.

“I’m from a red part of the state, yet as a Democrat I’ve won election and reelection six times, and that shows that I can bring Democrats and Republicans together to address all sorts of issues,” Nelson said.

On his “Full Nelson” tour, he is aiming to visit all 72 Wisconsin counties in as many days.

After his stop at the La Crosse Distillery on Thursday, Nelson was also scheduled to campaign in Vernon, Richland, and Crawford counties before the end of the day.

The Democratic primary for the Senate seat is in August of next year.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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