Larson isn’t buying Republican spin

    Republicans have contended that the state’s 7th Senate District would be in play if Chris Larson knocked off Sen. Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) in the Dem primary.
    Larson, a liberal Milwaukee County supervisor who indeed defeated Plale Tuesday, isn’t buying it.
    "You can argue right back that every Democrat around is more progressive than Plale," Larson said, pointing out the 7th has been a 60-percent Democratic district. "Now we have someone that actually represents the values of the district."
    Larson cruised to an easy 61 percent to 39 percent win over the moderate incumbent.
    Plale outraged the liberal wing of the party this session when the Clean Energy Jobs Act stalled. Plale, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Utilities, Energy and Rail Committee, said the price tag of the bill was too high.
    The bill never came up for a vote in either house, but Rep. Spencer Black, who along with Plale co-chaired a special committee charged with pushing forward the bill, blamed Plale for its demise.
    Black, who is not seeking re-election, gave $12,000 to the Citizens for Progressive Wisconsin Political Action Committee (PAC) through his campaign committee. The PAC attacked Plale through mail, TV ads and robocalls.
    Larson chalked up his win to what he said was a better message for Dem voters than Plale’s ties to corporate lobbyists. Larson said the outside money that poured into the district helped and hurt his campaign. The flood of mail began turning off some voters toward the end, he said.
    Efforts by pro-school voucher and anti-abortion groups on behalf of Plale were not enough to overcome the anti-Plale mail and the TV ads for Larson. While some legislative incumbents were scared going into Tuesday, Plale was the only one to fall.

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