• WisPolitics


Monday, June 01, 2015

 10:55 AM 

Laning 'shocked' by Smith letter offering to make her exec director if he wins chair race

Dem state chair candidate Martha Laning said she was “shocked” by a letter rival Jeff Smith sent to delegates offering to make her executive director if he wins this weekend’s race.

In the letter, Smith wrote delegates have suggested he and Laning former a partnership to “take the party back from the professional consultants and insiders who seem determined to maintain their control.”

“It was just surprising to me,” Laning said, adding Smith has not been one of the candidates “smearing us.”

“I just think it’s really unfair to put something out about another candidate.”

Smith said in a separate interview the intent of the letter was to start the process of bringing the party back together after “a very contentious campaign.” Still, he noted it “may have caused a furor among some people,” particularly Laning’s supporters.

“If it starts the conversation of how we come together, then it was worth it,” Smith said.

Party delegates will vote Saturday in the five-way race that also includes DNC member Jason Rae, former state Rep. Stephen Smith and former state Chair Joe Wineke.

Smith and Laning said in the interviews they have talked about ways to unify the party and had discussed the general topic he touched on in the letter. Both said they had not reached any agreement, and Laning said she doubted she would accept the offer, should Smith win.

See more in today's WisPolitics.com PM Update.

-- By Staff

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