Democratic candidates make their case before party supporters

Wisconsin flag photo. (WLUK/Scott Hurley)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- One-by-one, Democratic candidates stood before hundreds of people, trying to win over party activists.

Some focused on their work experience.

"I've actually run things; I run a school district. I'm in charge of an agency that is ultimately responsible for 860,000 kids and a 100,000 adults, and I work with them," said Tony Evers, the current state superintendent of public instruction.

"For 35 years, I not only built my own business to the largest of its type in this world, but I also help other businesses become successful," explained businessman Andy Gronik.

Some talked about putting families first.

"I learned what it's like to be a servant leadership," said corporate attorney and political activist Josh Pade. "I learned what its like to live and serve in all these different communities and understood what their needs are."

"Viable families need housing, housing is burst. They need transportation and quality childcare," said Paul Soglin, the mayor of Madison.

Others pointed to changes they want to make in office.

"It means we have family supporting jobs, an outcome of $15 an hour before it was sexy; 15 dollars an hour is the floor because what $15 can get you in Marquette, Adams, or Green Lake County is not what it can get you in Milwaukee, Madison, or Waukesha County," said Mahlon Mitchell, who is the current president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin.

"It's time to build a world our kids deserve," said former state legislator and small business owner Kelda Roys. "A world to keep them safe from gun violence of course, but so much more, a world they can thrive in."

"Rachel is my priority, health care for her family, great schools for her kids, free tuition for her to learn new skills, safe streets, parks, public transit to get home," said State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.

"I will legalize marijuana and I will pardon everybody in prison from this state who are there for minor defense," said Matt Flynn, a former chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

"We're going to fully fund public education; we're going to respect our teachers, give them a fair wage and give them the resources they need," said State Rep. Dana Wachs.

And finally some talked about what would happen if Walker stays in office.

"We will never get clean air and clean water from dirty politics, and we will never get anything more than thoughts and prayers after each new mass shootings, as long as elected officials are paid for taking no action," said founder and president of Blue Jean Nation, Mike McCabe.


(AP) -- Democratic candidates for governor get a chance to differentiate themselves and win over party activists at the state convention Friday.

8:30 p.m.

Democratic candidates for governor are saying they want to turn back policies enacted by Gov. Scott Walker while also pushing for better roads, refinancing student loan debt, higher wages, a cleaner environment and more money for public schools.

Ten candidates for governor spoke at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention Friday night in Oshkosh.

Many of them promised to undo a deal for Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group that could result in $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies being paid.

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout says "our priorities are upside down."

Political activist Mike McCabe fired up the crowd of about 1,500 with his populist message arguing for "a brand new kind of politics."

Matt Flynn received a smattering of boos during his speech. He's drawn criticism for his work as an attorney defending the Milwaukee Archdiocese in priest abuse cases.


7 p.m.

Democratic candidates for governor in Wisconsin are touting their experiences and attacking Republican Gov. Scott Walker's record in speeches at the Democratic Party convention.

Ten Democrats are running to take on Walker, who is seeking a third term. Each of them is getting five minutes to speak at the convention Friday.

State Superintendent Tony Evers is focusing on his experience having been elected to statewide office three times, the only Democratic candidate who has won statewide. Former state Rep. Kelda Roys focused on school safety, saying gun control measures are needed to make children feel safe.

State fire fighter union leader Mahlon Mitchell used a fire fighter analogy, saying "we need a fighter in the house."

Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik says a conventional politician can't beat Walker, while newcomer Josh Pade says he's going to tour the state to gather ideas from voters.


6:25 a.m.

Democratic candidates for governor get a chance to differentiate themselves and win over party activists at the state convention Friday.

The 10 candidates are slated to speak at the convention in Oshkosh where an estimated 1,500 party activists and leaders are to gather.

It will be the first time many Democrats will have seen the candidates who are vying for the chance to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November.

The candidates are trying to break out ahead of the Aug. 14 primary.

There is no clear front-runner in the crowded field that includes a variety of state and local office holders and political newcomers.

Other speakers at the convention Friday include U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, other members of Congress and attorney general candidate Josh Kaul.

Here's what Gov. Scott Walker had to say at the state Republican convention earlier this month.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off