Sunrise Wisconsin backs Tom Nelson in Democratic Senate primary

Progressive climate group Sunrise Wisconsin formally endorsed Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D) on Thursday in the heavily-watched state Senate race on Thursday, becoming the first Sunrise center in the entire state in endorse before the 2022 midterm elections.

The Hill was the first outlet to report the endorsement.

“I think Tom Nelson understands the time that we are in where our country has billionaires and corporations running our corrupt Congress while the rest of us and the planet suffer,” said Anders Hanhan, the Sunrise Fox Valley Hub coordinator.

“It is not based on trivialities like other progressive assumptions, but on a bold and substantive vision,” he added.

The national Sunrise Movement has yet to make an endorsement in the race.

Sunrise Wisconsin’s endorsement of Nelson marks a victory for the county executive among the state’s progressive grassroots community. It also shows an emerging divide in the Democratic primaries between progressives and more establishment figures and organizations. Earlier this week, House Majority Leader James Clyburn (DS.C.) gave his support to Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who is also running in the primaries.

“If you want a group in your corner … Sunrise Movement is pretty close to the top of that list,” Nelson told The Hill. “For a Democratic primary, I think this is the most important endorsement yet, simply because they have made such a difference in the Democratic primary before. They are a force to be reckoned with.”

Fighting the climate crisis is a big part of Nelson’s campaign platform. While Nelson supports progressive climate efforts such as the Green New Deal, he has also emphasized the importance of the alliance between labor, manufacturing and environmental movements through the “Blue-Green Coalition.”

“This state, I believe, is the ideal setting to create that blue-green coalition and to promote and develop a Green New Deal because, at its core, the Green New Deal unites environmentalism and labor,” he said.

Nelson and Barnes are two of 12 candidates running in the Wisconsin Senate Democratic primary.

Barnes is seen as the pioneer. His campaign raised $ 1.1 million between July 1 and September 30. Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry also raised more than $ 1 million during the period, but each donated large sums of money to their campaigns. Nelson, meanwhile, raised about $ 223,000 during the same period. Eighty-eight percent of Nelson’s campaign donations during the period were less than $ 200, according to his campaign.

Polls in the race have been relatively rare, but an internal Barnes campaign poll released in September showed the lieutenant governor with 37 percent support among voters in the state’s Democratic primary. His closest rivals, Nelson, state treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, are statistically tied at 8 percent, 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Incumbent republican senator Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson Democrats begin bombing to sell infrastructure Sununu exit underscores GOP’s uncertain path to Senate majority Biden touts agenda while celebrating Milwaukee Bucks in White House MORE (Wis.) He has not yet confirmed whether he will run for reelection. However, he said last week that he would make a decision soon. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report calls the race a “riot.”

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