Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin (AFP) will host the first debate between U.S. Senate candidates Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) on April 26.
“The people of Wisconsin will be making critical decisions this year that will have ramifications far beyond the borders of our state,” said Eric Bott, state director for AFP. “We are very excited to host the first debate of this cycle and to give Wisconsinites the chance to hear directly from these two candidates about the issues that are most important to them.”
Nicholson and Vukmir are competing in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate on August 14. Also said to be giving serious consideration to running is businessman Eric Hovde who finished second in the GOP primary in 2012. The winner of this year’s primary election will take on Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin in the November election.
The AFP debate will be held at the Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, a familiar setting for Republican politics in Waukesha County. According to a release from AFP, “the debate will cover a range of key AFP issues including taxes, spending, jobs, the economy, healthcare, and veterans’ affairs.”
Debates have been a point of contention between the two campaigns. Nicholson’s campaign called for six debates and Vukmir agreed that there will be debates. Nicholson’s campaign accused Vukmir of backing out a debate at the Insight 2018 event sponsored by WTMJ-AM radio and hosted by Jeff Wagner on March 28. However, Eric Brooks, the Director of Programming and News for WTMJ, confirmed to RightWisconsin that Vukmir had only committed to a video appearance.
Vukmir responded by accusing Nicholson of trying to duck the debate sponsored by AFP, saying the Nicholson campaign did not respond to repeated attempts to be contacted by the organization. Bott confirmed at the time that Nicholson’s campaign had responded to the organization shortly before the two campaigns started accusing each other of ducking debates. However, Nicholson’s campaign had agreed to the debate, according to Bott, but details were yet to be worked out. The Nicholson campaign referred all inquiries regarding when they accepted the debate invitation to Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin.