The Latest: Nicholson says he's open to abortion exceptions

Published: Jan. 30, 2018 at 9:31 AM CST
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Republican Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson says he would be open to bills cracking down on abortions that provide exceptions for such things as rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

That is a difference from his Republican challenger state Sen. Leah Vukmir who supports a zero-exception abortion ban.

Nicholson said at a luncheon Tuesday that he would decide whether and what exceptions were permissible on a "case by case" basis if the legislation "appreciably saves human lives."

He says he wants legislation that "saves the unborn and does it in a way that's enforceable."

Nicholson says the ultimate consideration on whether he would back abortion legislation with exceptions depends on how it would be enacted and if it's enforceable.


Republican Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson says he does not think his GOP challenger Leah Vukmir is a "Republican in Name Only" as a group backing his candidacy has charged.

Vukmir is a state senator who has been in the Legislature since 2003. She and her supporters argue she is the true conservative in the race. But the Club for Growth has tried to brand her as a RINO, despite her long record of voting for Republican priorities and Gov. Scott Walker's agenda in the Legislature.

Nicholson said Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by that he does not think Vukmir is a RINO. Instead, he says she is "an insider" because of her long time in office.

Nicholson is running his first campaign. He says he is an outsider in the race and that dynamic will define both the primary and general election against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.


Republican Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson says his past as a Democrat would help him in a general election matchup against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Nicholson spoke Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by website

Nicholson was president of the national College Democrats in 2000 and worked for Minnesota Democrats running for office in 2002. He says he converted to being a Republican and voted for John McCain in 2008.

Nicholson says his own personal experience will resonate with Wisconsin voters who may have been a Democrat but now don't identify with the party. He says, "It's the story of our state."

Nicholson faces Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the Aug. 14 primary.


A spokesman for Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson says there's "nothing new" about the fact that the Republican worked for Minnesota Democrats while a college student in 2002.

Documents show Nicholson was paid $7,300 for campaign work for Democrats in the fall of 2002, even though Nicholson has previously said he was "absolutely sure" he was no longer a Democrat after the 2000 national convention.

Nicholson spokesman Brandon Moody said Tuesday that his opponents are "flailing wildly" because he is a "true outsider not beholden to anyone."

Nicholson has said his conversion to the Republican Party was complete by 2007.

Republicans who support state Sen. Leah Vukmir for the post say she's the only proven conservative in the race.


Republican Wisconsin Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson was paid to do work for Democrats running for office in Minnesota in 2002.

Nicholson has spent a lot of time explaining his conversion from being the national president of the College Democrats in 2000 to running for U.S. Senate as a Republican this year.

Nicholson told a radio host a year ago that he was "absolutely sure I was not a Democrat" after speaking in 2000 at the Democratic National Convention. But Federal Election Commission records show Nicholson was paid $7,300 by Minnesota Democrats in 2002 for "administrative/voter drive" work.

He also registered to vote in 2005 as a Democrat in North Carolina and cast a ballot in the 2008 Democratic primary.

Nicholson has said he wanted to vote for Republican John McCain but couldn't switch his registration at the poll.