The campaign for Marine veteran and Wisconsin US Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson (R) has some serious momentum behind it.
With funding and polling numbers in his favor, Nicholson will be tough to beat in the Republican primary on August 14 — despite the fact that his opponent, Leah Vukmir (R-Wisc.) has been endorsed by the state GOP.
The businessman’s outsider perspective resonates with voters and it’s paying off — literally.
On Tuesday, the Nicholson campaign announced it had raked in more than $1 million in the second quarter, bringing his total fundraising thus far to more than $3.2 million.
Nicholson raised twice as much money as Vukmir in the first quarter, and while both Republicans enjoy strong endorsements and millions in support from PACs, incumbent Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) had $7.8 million on hand at the end of March.
Groups like FreedomWorks for America, Club for Growth, Tea Party Patriots, Combat Veterans for Congress and Wisconsin Family Action have all thrown their weight behind Nicholson.
Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) even released a video of their endorsement of the candidate, as did former ambassador John Bolton prior to his appointment as President Trump’s National Security Adviser.
Nicholson has Wisconsin roots, an Ivy League education, business acumen and all the makings of a true conservative.
But a pro-Vukmir PAC released a campaign ad against him on Tuesday, aimed to point out what his opponents hope will be Nicholson’s Achilles heel: the fact that he was president of the College Democrats of American roughly twenty years ago.
For his part, Nicholson says that after being raised in a family of Democrats, his experiences in early adulthood changed his views.
He told TheBlaze: “Making a budget, making payroll, branding cattle and learning a ton about ag business…wised me up as a Conservative.”
But what solidified his support of the Republican party even further was his time as a twice-deployed Marine, and how he saw Democrats distort the successes of the surge in Iraq in 2007. Nicholson said he believes that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama actively lied about the progress made during that mission.
He also believes that President Obama’s 2014 announcement of the troop withdrawal timeline in Afghanistan was a move that “put lives at risk,” and threw away the hard-fought gains of his counter-IED team in that country.
“I lost friends and family over there,” Nicholson told TheBlaze. “There is no excuse for it. The stakes are too high.”