Leah Vukmir, a Republican Senate candidate from Wisconsin, is getting some attention for her latest campaign ad that features her refusing to be a victim while a holstered handgun is within arms’ reach.
Vukmir, 60, a pediatric nurse practitioner and long-time state lawmaker, is a GOP contender to take on incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., in November. In a campaign ad posted Thursday, the current state Senator from the Milwaukee area talks about remaining dedicated to her agenda after a recorded death threat plays.
“Ever have someone threaten your life for something you believe in? I have,” says Vukmir, sitting alone with the handgun without referring to it. “When Scott Walker and I beat the union bosses, cut billions in taxes and defunded Planned Parenthood, the left couldn’t take it. With President Trump, we can do the same in Washington. Standing on principle takes guts, I know what it takes.”
When questioned by local media about specific threats the ad was based on, Vukmir’s campaign provided an example of a Facebook message that said in part, “hope some nut with a gun shows you why there should be stricter gun laws. The only way you may get it!”
On her campaign page, Vukmir lists support for the Second Amendment as a central part of her platform, hyping her NRA “A” rating while in the state legislature along with a promise to oppose “expanded federal regulation of gun ownership.”
Endorsed by the Wisconsin Republican Party at the state convention last month, she faces businessman and Marine veteran Kevin Nicholson in an upcoming party primary in August. With similar assurances to “protect the rights of Wisconsin citizens to own and carry firearms,” Nicholson paints himself as a political outsider fighting against career politicians.
Vukmir’s potential Democratic opponent, Tammy Balwin, has been in Congress since 1999 including seven terms in the U.S. House before besting former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson to gain her current Senate seat in 2012. As such, the sitting Senator has huge name recognition in the state as well as at least $17 million in fund-raising for her campaign. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Vukmir, seen as an underdog, has raised $1.2 million.
When it comes to Second Amendment issues, Baldwin is a co-sponsor of legislation in Washington to expand background checks to all gun sales, as well as a “no-fly/no buy” bill to block gun sales to those on secretive no-fly lists.
In a race analysis by Real Clear Politics, Baldwin is expected to come out on top in a match-up against Vukmir.
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