Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee, speaks during The Cap Times Idea Fest at UW-Madison in Madison, on Friday, September 13, 2019. Photo by Michelle Stocker

Winning Wisconsin in the general election this fall “is personal” to Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.

The National Dem leader said Thursday in Madison at a political Organizing Corps training session that he hopes to “regain the spirit of ‘we’re all in this together’” and reunify the state after nearly a decade of divisive state politics.

“The enduring legacy of Scott Walker is he tore apart the fabric of this state,” Perez said.

Perez said Dems have three separate engagement plans targeted at rural, base and millennial voters. He said organizers will continue knocking on doors well ahead of October and November to ensure voters they’re “not just yapping.”

Perez called Milwaukee “hungry” for the Democratic National Convention and said the party plans to use it as “an opportunity to organize and show our values.” He also pointed out local enthusiasm for the DNC and how it exceeded a $20 million 2019 fundraising goal for the convention.

“I’ve spoken to Republicans in the business community who are strongly behind [the DNC], because they see it as an opportunity to tell the remarkable story of Milwaukee,” he said.

But Trump Victory spokeswoman Anna Kelly told the Trump Campaign has been “on the ground since the 2016 cycle” and is well-prepared for November.

“If the Democrats think they can parachute in now and compete with our top-notch field operation, unparalleled data program, vast fundraising war chest, and long-standing relationships with voters in the state, they are sorely mistaken,” Kelly said.

At the training session, Perez called on the students in attendance to help “elect our Democratic candidate to for the Supreme Court,” referring to liberal candidates Judge Jill Karofsky and Marquette University Law School Professor Ed Fallone in the spring Supreme Court election against conservative incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly.

“Perhaps Democrats aren’t ignoring Wisconsin as they did in 2016, but they still aren’t focused on what voters here care about,” said Alesha Guenther, communications director for the state GOP. “While they waste their energy on impeachment, President Trump continues to deliver for Wisconsin by passing the USMCA, creating jobs, and lowering taxes for hardworking families.”

Perez then spent his afternoon in Milwaukee with Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and state Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, and activists to discuss Dem plans to increase healthcare access to working families.

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