• WisPolitics


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

 4:30 PM 

Dems ready to revel in '06 successes

Whereas Republicans viewed this year's state convention as a chance to regroup, state Dems go into their convo looking to celebrate.

"It's about celebrating '06," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Joe Wineke, who couldn't resist a dig at the GOP. "I tell you one thing -- we're not going to come out of our convention saying we need to 'rebrand ourselves.' I seem to remember the Republicans doing that."

"We have not been able to come together and celebrate," said Sen. Lena Taylor of Milwaukee, the first vice chair of the state party. "The last time we got together we talked about what we wanted to do. This is actually the homecoming, the reunion where we say, 'This is what we did, and this is what's next.' I think it's going to be an exciting time."

Dems are hoping to ride the momentum from an '06 election that saw Gov. Jim Doyle become the first Democratic governor to be re-elected in Wisconsin since 1974, saw them re-take control of the Senate for the first time since 2002, saw them win the Republican-leaning 8th Congressional District and saw them narrow the GOP margin in the state Assembly to 52-47. The Democrats are giddy about their chances to take the presidency and the majority in the Assembly in '08.

"People can see what's happened in the Senate," Taylor said. "Knowing that we only need three seats in the Assembly, there's a desire to want to see a difference. People can see a difference already in how things are being done."

Dems see enough vulnerability to flip the three seats needed to swing the majority. Rep. Eugene Hahn of Cambria won his '06 race by less than 1 percent, while Rep. Brett Davis of Oregon is back with a 1 percent margin, and Westby Rep. Lee Nerison won re-election with less than a 3 percent margin.

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