Candidate stands by campaign method despite death threat
DE PERE - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brett Hulsey isn't backing down despite receiving a death threat. Last Friday, Hulsey was outside the Wisconsin Republican Convention in Milwaukee dressed like a confederate soldier.
He also brought, but never passed out, hoods resembling those worn by the Ku Klux Klan. Hulsey's own party called the move "unacceptable."
While Hulsey was in De Pere Tuesday morning, asked the current state representative from Madison about his methods.
Hulsey wanted to attract attention before Republicans voted on a resolution that would assert Wisconsin's right to secede from the United States.
"I was welcoming them to the Confederacy," said Hulsey. "Many Republicans took offense to that. I got a death threat call to my office and many threatening calls."
After he talked to prospective voters Tuesday morning, we asked Hulsey about the hoods he brought to the convention that resemble KKK hoods.
"So you didn't hand them out, but you had them there, so isn't that in itself crossing a line?" asked FOX 11.
"Well again, I didn't hand them out, but since the Republican Party - if they're going to do racist policies like Gov. (Scott) Walker has put in place, then they should dress the part," responded Hulsey.
At the convention, the chair of the Wisconsin Republican Party's African American Caucus called Hulsey's comments reprehensible.
"The fact that he came dressed in a Confederate outfit demonstrates to me that he`s forgotten all perspectives of history. It was the Republican Party that ended slavery. It was the Republican Party that gave the votes for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s," said Gerard Randall.
Another Democrat running for governor, Mary Burke, was asked Tuesday what she thinks about Hulsey's method.
"I don't think about it at all," said Burke. "I'm focused on my campaign and executing the game plan that I have for winning in November."
The death threat against Hulsey is under investigation, according to state officials.
"We turned the tape recording in my office over to the Capitol Police," said Hulsey.
Hulsey has stopped publicizing his campaign schedule, but says he still makes at least eight different stops a day in an old, red convertible.
"My goal is to be the next governor," said Hulsey. "I will win the Democratic nomination. I will win the governorship."
Hulsey, Burke, Marcia Mercedes Perkins and Hari Trivedi have all announced intentions to run in a primary on Aug. 12. The general election is Nov. 4.
Some say Burke is the only serious contender, as she has raised at least $1 million more than the other candidates.
FOX 11 asked Michael Kraft, a UWGB political science professor, if he thinks Hulsey can make a strong run.
"Hulsey looks like he's focusing on stunts and odd press releases," said Kraft. "So far, it's not to say he won't become a candidate, so far it looks like he's not a serious candidate."
To get on the ballot for the gubernatorial primary, candidates must collect at least 2,000 signatures by June 2. Hulsey says he is "making good progress" on that requirement.