ICYMI: National Review Profiles Kevin Nicholson

– A “vivid contrast to Baldwin’s career-politician résumé” –

National Review this afternoon published an in-depth profile of decorated Marine and conservative outsider Kevin Nicholson.

Excerpts are below:

This year’s Wisconsin election will likely be one of 2018’s closest, and the GOP-primary field is beginning to take shape to challenge Baldwin. Marine Corps veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson, who officially announced his campaign this morning, believes he’s uniquely qualified to unseat her…

… Nicholson grew up a Democrat, and he has the résumé to prove it. He says his early politics were heavily influenced by his family, particularly his grandfather, who was a construction worker and a strong supporter of labor unions, a Democrat in the style of FDR.

But Nicholson’s time in Washington working for the DNC set in motion a years-long process by which he became the staunch Republican running against Baldwin today. “I didn’t like what I saw at the DNC,” he tells National Review. “I basically witnessed the inception of identity politics. People there were broken apart by the color of their skin or their gender and pitted against each other for resources…”

…He received a commission as an officer in the Marines after graduating, and his experience in the military expedited the disenchantment that he had begun to feel at the DNC, as Nicholson realized how little the Democratic party’s policies coincided with the real world.

“I saw a different side of people in the Marines, where everyone was treated according to their merit and not their skin color or identity,” he says. “There is no greater introduction into reality than the U.S. Marine Corps.” That learning process only intensified when Nicholson served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan…

…Nicholson, a captain, led a unit of Marines on over 100 combat missions in Iraq, and he earned the Navy Achievement Medal as a result. From 2008 to 2009, he served in Afghanistan as the leader of a counter–improvised-explosive-device (IED) team and earned the Bronze Star for his work. “We were on what was the most heavily IED’d chunk of ground on Earth during my time there,” he says. “The goal was to get the devices off the battlefield and get the people building bombs off the battlefield. We were very effective in mitigating the threat.”

When he got back to the U.S. after his first deployment, Nicholson immediately began supporting John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “I was very literally volunteering for the man who I wanted to be my next commander in chief,” he says. “I was particularly furious when I was in Iraq and what I saw from the presidential candidates. The disconnect between what I was seeing on the ground and what was being said on TV was so jarring and infuriating. . . . I knew without equivocation that what the Democrats were saying was lies…”

…[H]e earned an MBA from Dartmouth and an MPA from Harvard, and he went on to work in international consulting at McKinsey. He currently works at a Milwaukee management-consulting firm.

“Every step of my story is seeing how the world works and slowly being introduced to reality, becoming more conservative every step of the way,” Nicholson says of his gradual journey to the GOP. “I’m a conservative for reasons of hard-earned experience. I know that I can reach out to the people of Wisconsin and say, ‘These are the problems that we face. We’re going to face them together. And here are the solutions.’ That’s the only thing a senator from Wisconsin should care about.”

Nicholson believes his extensive life experience makes him a successful foil to Baldwin, who has few legislative accomplishments to her name, and many in the party already agree. “I’ve known Kevin for several years and he’s always struck me as a solid conservative who, while having a history as a Democrat, is now a great candidate for the Republican party,” Matt Batzel, a GOP operative in Wisconsin, tells National Review. “He’s the sort of person I’ve been hoping would run for office here for a long time…”

…Nicholson thinks Senator Baldwin provides him with an opportunity to contrast his life experience with that of a career politician. “Her career has never been focused on making outcomes better for people. It’s been a lot of griping, a lot of divisiveness, and literally nothing to show for it,” Nicholson says. “That’s everything that’s wrong with American politics. There can be no better service that removing someone like that from the U.S. Senate and replacing her with someone with the life experience I’ve had.”

Click HERE to read the entire article.

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