This year, convention attendees will pick a new party chair, settle on a platform and prepare for next year’s elections, including the presidential race and Russ Feingold’s return as a U.S. Senate candidate.
The convention doors open at 5 p.m. Friday with the speaking program beginning an hour later. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., takes the stage tonight as the convention’s keynote speaker. Others speaking Friday include: Feingold, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, outgoing state Chair Mike Tate, Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling and Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca.
Saturday’s agenda includes debate on party resolutions and the vote for a new party chair to succeed Tate. Ahead of the chair election, WisPolitics.com interviewed the four candidates about their platforms, their views on the party’s electoral future and their thoughts on campaign financing. The interviews with Martha Laning, Jason Rae, Stephen Smith and Joe Wineke are all posted in the blog.
The vote for chair is scheduled to run from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and the new chair takes office immediately after a victor is declared.
“The transfer of power is about 90 seconds long,” Tate said at a recent WisPolitics.com event, “which some question if that is the best modus operandi for handing over what is essentially a multimillion-dollar-a-year corporation, but that’s how we do it.”
Finally, the convention will again feature a WisPolitics.com straw poll, quizzing attendees about their picks for next year’s presidential race and the 2018 race for governor. Watch the blog on Saturday for results from that poll.