GOP state Sen. Leah Vukmir officially kicked off her campaign for the U.S. Senate today, saying in a four-minute video Wisconsin needs a “real conservative” to change leadership in Washington, D.C.

Vukmir, a 14-year veteran of the state Legislature, is the second Republican to formally declare for the Senate race to take on U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. She joins former Marine and business consultant Kevin Nicholson, who was president of the national College Democrats before undergoing a political conversion. Madison businessman Eric Hovde is also weighing a bid.

Vukmir says in the video she’s proud to have stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Gov. Scott Walker in pushing conservative reforms as the video shows footage from the protests that gripped the state Capitol during the debate over legislation that stripped most public employees of their collective bargaining powers.

The video then shows Vukmir driving as the words “Wisconsin’s conservative” are shown on the screen.

“I am the only clear, consistent conservative in this race,” Vukmir says in the video. “I have a track record that people know. They can count on me. I’ve gotten things done. People know I listen. People know I have their back.”

A member of the budget committee, Vukmir launched her campaign the day after Joint Finance took its final vote to wrap up work on the two-year spending plan, which now heads to the full Legislature.

State Dem Chair Martha Laning slammed Vukmir as a “national leader of a billionaires special interest group.”

“She prioritizes tax breaks for billionaires and corporations over working people. She cuts education and healthcare to pay for massive tax breaks for the super wealthy. And what’s worse, Leah Vukmir’s extreme policies haven’t done anything to address rising costs for Wisconsin families,” Laning said.


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