CHIPPEWA FALLS — Kevin Nicholson didn’t win the official GOP endorsement Saturday at the Republican convention in Milwaukee, but he is confident he will win the primary in August and, ultimately, the U.S. Senate race in November.
“We went in without any goal of winning the endorsement,” Nicholson said Tuesday during a campaign stop in Chippewa Falls. “We had the weekend we anticipated. We met with a lot of primary voters.”
Nicholson noted an outside poll that indicates he has a large lead over state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, heading into the primary Aug. 14, despite Vukmir winning the endorsement with 73 percent of support from delegates. The winner will be on the ballot and will face Democrat incumbent Tammy Baldwin in the general election in November.
Nicholson pointed out he has a large lead over Vukmir in cash on hand, and he has other endorsements.
“We have a massive amount of momentum,” he said. “It’s going to take an outsider to beat Tammy Baldwin. Look at Ron Johnson — he came right in from manufacturing. If you have a track record of solving problems and getting things done, Wisconsin voters will give you a chance.”
Nicholson never mentioned Vukmir by name, as he instead focused his comments on Baldwin.
“She is nervous, and she should be — she has a 37 percent approval rating,” Nicholson said. “Our campaign is going directly to voters, and talking about issues voters care about.”
Nicholson is from Milwaukee but now resides in Delafield. He also is a former U.S. Marine.
If elected, Nicholson vows he would serve no more than two terms.
Former State Sen. David Zien joined Nicholson on his campaign stops in the Chippewa Valley on Tuesday.
“People like a rebel maverick and someone unconventional,” Zien said. “Kevin is outstanding — a Marine and a family man.”