The Republican Party of Wisconsin hosted their annual convention this last weekend in the Wisconsin Dells where Governor Scott Walker announced he is “ready” to launch his campaign for another term as governor. In addition to his speech, Walker also announced longtime aide Joe Fadness as his new campaign manager for the all-but-announced gubernatorial campaign. Fadness was executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from 2013-15 and has been with Walker since his days at Milwaukee County Executive.
Since this took place in the non-election year, no formal endorsement of candidates for U.S. Senate occurred. However, WisPolitics conducted a straw poll of party faithful to see who the early favorites for the GOP nominee to take on incumbent Tammy Baldwin next fall. Just over 47 percent of the 296 delegates, alternates and registered guests at this weekend’s convention who voted in the straw poll backed State Senator Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield. Nearly 14 percent preferred state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, while another 12 percent indicated their support for businessman Eric Hovde, who ran unsuccessfully for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination in 2012.
Democrats will hold their convention the first weekend of June in Madison.