HRC released the following statement celebrating the victories of pro-equality candidates including Senator Tammy Baldwin; Reps. Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Gwen Moore; and Josh Kaul for Attorney General.
“HRC is proud to work on behalf of pro-equality candidates in these crucial races up and down the ballot, and will continue to mobilize our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Wisconsin to turn out for equality in the general election,” said HRC Wisconsin State Director Wendy Strout. “The choice for fair-minded Wisconsinites couldn’t be clearer this November. We can either support pro-equality champions like Senator Tammy Baldwin, who have spent their careers fighting to ensure that every Wisconsinite can live a life free from discrimination and harassment, or side with anti-equality candidates like Leah Vukmir who, time and time again, has worked to undermine equality for the LGBTQ community.”
HRC is proud to support Senator Baldwin for re-election. She is the first openly LGBTQ U.S. Senator and the first woman elected to the Senate from Wisconsin. Throughout her public service, she has been a pioneer for equality as a leader in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a champion for federal hate crimes protections, and a primary sponsor of the Equality Act. In addition to Baldwin’s strong civil rights record, she has been a voice for Wisconsin’s working people, leading the fight for quality, affordable health care access and an economy that works for everyone.
Baldwin will be facing State Senator Leah Vukmir in the general election. Throughout her almost two decades in public office, Vukmir has repeatedly taken extreme positions far outside the mainstream. She derailed efforts to pass commonsense protections for Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community, including protections for LGBTQ youth facing discrimination and bullying at school. She is a long time opponent of marriage equality and has close ties to some of the nation’s most virulently anti-LGBTQ organizations, such as the Family Research Council. Vukmir has consistently voted against pro-equality legislation and has pushed for a license to discriminate in the healthcare system that would prioritize physicians’ beliefs over life-saving patient care. In addition to her attacks on the LGBTQ community, Vukmir’s extremist agenda also includes attacks on voting rights; health care, including ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions and stripping women of their reproductive rights; education; and the environment.
HRC-endorsed Josh Kaul will face incumbent Brad Schimel in the race for Attorney General. Schimel, joined the suit against the Obama administration’s life-saving guidance protecting LGBTQ students and recently urged the Supreme Court of the United States to grant a potentially sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Schimel also accepted thousands of dollars from the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to speak at the group’s recent conference in California.
HRC is on the ground working to defeat incumbent Governor Scott Walker, who is seeking a third term in office, and has made anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of his political career. Walker supported Wisconsin's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, vetoed a bill to provide domestic partner benefits to workers and tried to kill a domestic partner registry. He also supports banning qualified transgender people from serving in the military, saying he “wouldn’t change” the Trump-Pence administration’s unconstitutional policy.
Following tonight’s primary, HRC will continue to examine races up and down the ballot to determine additional endorsements for the 2018 general election. In Wisconsin, HRC has identified more than 560,000 “Equality Voters” -- voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies. HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Wisconsin in the 2018 cycle, and has already put staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.
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