• WisPolitics

Friday, June 13, 2008

 9:48 AM 

Wineke predicts big things for Dems this fall

State Dem Chair Joe Wineke said his party is confident it will meet this year's election goals: gaining a majority of the Assembly, building the majority in the Senate and winning the state for Barack Obama.

"We're feeling very good in June about where we're at," Wineke said in advance of the state Dem Party convention this weekend in Stevens Point "We know we're going to get everything but the kitchen sink thrown at us."

Wineke joined Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, and Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau, in a conference call with reporters to preview the convention this weekend -- an event being bypassed by Obama.

Wineke 8th CD incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen has strengthened his position in the district after some early missteps. He also noted GOP opponent John Gard's diminished stature after two years away from the Assembly speaker's office, as well as his support for the Bush administration.

"We're going to wrap George Bush around John Gard's arms this year," Wineke said. "I like our chances there in a big way."

Lassa, whose district will host the convention, said Senate Dems can create a historic opportunity by building on the successes in 2006. Lassa said winning the party's targeted Senate races, especially against Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, would "build the kind of majority that can be proactive on issues that people really care about."

Seidel also expressed confidence for Assembly prospects this fall, noting that 12 Assembly Republicans currently represent districts carried by either Gov. Jim Doyle or U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.

Wineke added that positioning the convention in Stevens Point represents a concerted effort to move the Dem Party into different parts of the state. He noted that next year's convention will continue that pattern in Green Bay and said he hoped to secure Eau Claire as the location for the 2010 convention.

-- By Andy Szal


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