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Can Vukmir gain support from billionaire Uihlien at ‘unity fundraiser’

MADISON (WKOW) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir and her former opponent Kevin Nicholson are scheduled to attend a fundraiser tonight co-hosted by billionaires Dick Uihlien and Diane Hendricks for the National Senatorial Committee in Milwaukee.

Uihlien, who supported Nicholson in the primary, invested nearly $11 million in his campaign. Now Vukmir is hoping to convince him at to flip and support he bid for Congress.

But a week before the primary, Vukmir was vocal against Uihlien during an interview on “The John Muir Show.”

“I think it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of people that a particular out-of-state donor is spending as much money as he is to, in essence, almost try and buy a Senate seat, and that’s not what Wisconsin politics is about,” said Vukmir back on August 6.

Now a change of heart. After Vukmir’s victory Tuesday night she said she confidant Nicholson’s supporter will get behind her campaign.

“I know he (Nicholson) will support us he’s offered to help us and we will unify."

Bill McCoshen, who worked as chief of staff and then campaign manager for former Governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson, said he’d be surprised if Uihlien didn’t back Vukmir after the event.

"If you invest $11 million and his primary goal is to defeat Tammy Baldwin, I assume that’s still his goal,” said McCoshen. “If so, then Leah Vukmir is his only option so I’m hoping he comes around does the classy thing and helps her out."

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin responded saying Vukmir is flipping her position just to gain millions in her pocket.

"Vukmir herself admitted that billionaire Dick Uihlein is trying to buy a U.S. Senator who will work for him, rather than Wisconsin families, and now she’s openly trying to be his personal Senator," said Communication Advisor Brad Bainum.

Sen. Ron Johnson is also hoping to help persuade Uihlien, all while unifying the party to rally behind Vukmir.

"I’ll certainly be twisting his arm to do so, I know he’s a co-sponsor of this event,” said Johnson. “Dick generally does not show up to events he has been very generous in terms of his financial support so I hope he shows up."

Vukmir’s campaign did not comment respond to a comment this afternoon. The Wisconsin State Journal reports President Trump is offering to campaign in Wisconsin for her. So far no date or location has been set.


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