The Forgotten Primary

IMG_6121I’ve written numerous times about Julian Bradley, the GOP candidate for Secretary of State who was endorsed at the state convention with 66 percent of the vote in a three-way race. But the race isn’t over, and it’s not a foregone conclusion he’ll go on to face Doug La Follette on Nov. 4th.

First he has to get through a primary where he’ll face retiring Rep. Garey Bies of Sister Bay, who has allowed himself to be all but forgotten.

Surely, I told myself, I’d written about the fact that a primary will be needed if Julian’s opponents don’t all drop out. Indeed, all his opponents save one have in fact exited the race. But Going through my Julian Bradley archives, it seems I’ve neglected to mention the GOP contest on August 12.

Here’s me most recently talking about (laying into) his opponent, incumbent Doug La Follette.

Here I write about the many permutations of the races for SOS and treasurer, among others, as some candidates have come, some have gone.

In this post I write about the triumph the Bradley campaign – and by extension the Republican Party of Wisconsin – at the state convention, where he was endorsed with two-thirds of the vote in the first round of voting, the first time that’s ever happened in a three-way race.

Here I reiterate my claim that Bradley was the frontrunner back in April, reinforced when pro-elimination opponent Jay Schroeder exited the SOS race to run for Assembly.

Before that, I wrote about how he was the pulling away from Bill Folk and Schroeder, making himself the clear frontrunner by sweeping several key straw polls.

Even earlier, Bradley claimed the frontrunner status when an opponent, Rohn Bishop, bowed out of the race and endorsed Bradley. The two have since become good friends, which comes easy between men of impeccable demeanor and enthusiasm like Bradley and Bishop.

In December I reported that Bradley won Charlie Sykes’ Right Wisconsin Grassroots Activist of the Year award for this 2013 Shattering Stereotypes tour, where he toured college campuses and venues around the Midwest sharing his story of becoming a black Republican leader in Wisconsin.

Also last year I wrote that Julian was once again working with a La Crosse area Democrat Party leader on a bipartisan toy drive, in the spirit of the holiday season.

I’ve chronicled more thoroughly than any other writer the race for Wisconsin’s Secretary of State, but I have not explicitly stated that former Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) is still in the race, challenging Bradley in the GOP primary.

I don’t mean to attack Rep. Bies. He’s a good man who has dedicated the latter half of his career to carrying the Republican banner in the state Assembly. But one mention I made of Bies in April still holds true:

…but Garey Bies, a 67-year-old state Assembly representative and late entrant, though technically also in the race, hasn’t been seen at any events. Whether his campaign is serious is enough of a question that I’m not including him.

I also still believe that:

While Bies has a long record in the state legislature and a stash of leftover campaign funds, his campaign for SOS is best described as one last hurrah capping off a good career, a way to exhaust those campaign funds while fighting the good fight.

So now “it’s time” … to borrow Julian’s tagline … to urge voters to get out to the polls on August 12 and vote in the GOP primary.

Vote for Julian Bradley, a rising star in Wisconsin’s GOP.

About the writer: Chris Rochester has worked in communications and finance for a state Senate and congressional campaign, consulted on numerous Assembly and local races, and has held leadership roles in his local Republican Party. He's communications director for the MacIver Institute. Commentary here is strictly his own.