• WisPolitics

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

 1:33 PM 

A Challenge to LaFollette

Scot Ross says he's taking on Secretary of State Doug LaFollette in the Dem primary because he wants to re-invigorate the office, make the position more of an advocate for voting rights and help his fellow Democrats.

Call it a youth movement.

But Ross' decision to take on LaFollette is puzzling to some, considering the party activist is little known outside Dem circles and is trying to unseat a longtime incumbent who has one of the most famous political names in Wisconsin history and hasn't had a close race in years.

They wonder whether Ross' challenge is unofficially sanctioned by party officials, but several Dems insist Ross made the decision on his own without the party's involvement.

While various Dem strategists question whether Ross can pull off a victory, one said it's a sign of the discontent some young party activists feel with the old guard. There is a feeling that the party has lost its vitality and focus and needs a fresh blood rather than having the "same legislators and same cast of characters you rotate out and take turns losing races."

LaFollette insists he's only considered low-profile because the media focuses on other offices and says he's been active in the party. He says he has been endorsed by Gov. Jim Doyle and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, the top two Democrats in the state (the Doyle-Lawton campaign did not return calls for confirmation of that endorsement today). He said he has done a "very good job" and does not understand why he's being challenged by a fellow Democrat.

"I think there's only two reasons to do such a thing: One, if the incumbent is not doing a good job or, B, if you have a motivation personally to just get your name in the paper because you're planning future political activities," LaFollette said. "That's legitimate. People have a right to do that. But I don't understand it as any logical reason for it."

Read more on the Ross v. LaFollette primary: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=63495


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