• WisPolitics

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

 9:59 AM 

Tate touting Dem comeback because of GOP's 'historic overreach'

Mike Tate said he doesn’t expect to spend years as chair of the state Dem party.

But he’s promising to stick around to defeat Scott Walker, whether that’s in a recall next year or in 2014 at the end of the guv’s first term.

“If we recall Scott Walker next year, I could retire from this job a happy man at 34 years old,” said Tate, who was the youngest state party chair in the nation when first elected at age 30.

Tate took over in 2009 right after Dems registered historic gains that gave them control of the guv’s office, both houses of the Legislature, five of the state’s eight U.S. House seats and both U.S. Senate seats.

But as he heads into his second term unopposed for re-election at this weekend’s state convention, it’s a much different landscape for Wisconsin Dems.

Republicans have both houses of the Legislature and the guv’s office for the first time since the mid-1990s. The GOP controls five of the eight House seats, Ron Johnson knocked off Dem base favorite Russ Feingold in last year’s U.S. Senate race and the state’s other Senate seat will be open next year after Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, announced his retirement.

Still, Tate says he can see the tide turning back in Dems’ favor, largely thanks to the “historic overreach” by Walker and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, House Budget chair and architect of a plan to overhaul Medicare that Dems have been using as a club against the GOP.

“We are, I would argue, as strong as we’ve ever been at this point in a cycle,” Tate said.

Tate predicted in a new WisPolitics.com interview that the Dems would hold all of their Senate seats in this summer’s recall elections and win at least three seats to re-take the body, arguing all six Republican seats are winnable. He shttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifaid at worst the Dems could come up one seat shy of winning control of the Senate, but argued that would create even more momentum to recall Walker because of the “need for a check on Walker’s power grabs and legislation he’s been ramming through.”

See more from the interview:

-- By JR Ross


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