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Wisconsinites will decide between Democratic Incumbent Senator and Tammy Baldwin and a Republican challenger to represent them in the senate this year. Kevin Nicholson feels he is the right candidate for the Republican nomination. He came to speak with locals at the Park Oasis restaurant in Mauston April 5.

Nicholson is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later worked as a consultant.

“I’m a legitimate outsider,” Nicholson said. “I’m not a political office holder. I’m not somebody who is going to game the political system.”

If elected to the Senate, Nicholson said he would limit himself to two terms, and supports term limits for members of congress.

“My goal is to go and do one good term,” Nicholson said. “If you go to the senate today with the intent of making it a 30 year career, as many of them do, certainly Tammy Baldwin among them, I would say unequivocally that you’re never going to solve a problem in Washington because you’re going to get caught up in a system that says ‘Avoid the problems and skate along the top until you can win your next election.’”

Nicholson voiced respect for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Nicholson’s most visible competitor is State Senator Leah Vukmir, who represents Brookfield. Businessman Eric Hovde, who was speculated to be considering announcing his own candidacy, recently stated he would not be seeking the Republican nomination.

On international trade, Nicholson hopes to advocate for change.

“China’s trade practices for many decades have basically impaired American producers and American workers, because they have subsidized their products and slapped tariffs on American products,” Nicholson said. “That has put American producers in a bad position.”

If elected, Nicholson hopes to make himself accessible to Wisconsinites. He plans to work in D.C. but keep Wisconsin his home and visit “all 72 of our counties on a regular basis.”

Nicholson was formerly a Democrat, but said his life experience has shaped his worldview to conservatism.

“My worldview has been formed by my experience,” Nicholson said. “I’ve come through my experience to become pro-life. And anybody who disagrees with me on those principles, they are free to do so.”

The recently passed tax reform is a legislative move Nicholson feels will benefit the country.

“I think greater simplification of the tax code going forward is a good thing for the American people,” he said.

As someone with a political outsider’s perspective, Nicholson feels he is the right choice to face off against Baldwin in November.

“I was a Democrat,” Nicholson said. “(Now) I’m a conservative because I think that policies that push power back to the people work out better for people, that’s really what it comes down to.”

The Republican primary is scheduled for Aug. 14.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl