But before all that, eighteen months ago, Compas, 41, admits she was politically oblivious working mom who didn’t know her own state senator’s name. Today? She’s raised $200,000 for her campaign to oust that same state senator. Her commercials run on local TV. And her red “Lori Compas for Senate” signs freckle the lawns of the 13th senate district. Compas, her two paid staffers, and her two-dozen fired-up volunteers want to pull off the upset of a generation.
The odds of that upset are slim. The 13th district is one of Wisconsin’s reddest. An April survey by Public Policy Polling showed her trailing “Fitz,” as he’s known, by 14 percentage points. But her recall candidacy has inspired dozens of new progressive candidates around the state to launch their own grassroots-fueled campaigns for the November elections. One political consultant calls it “the Compas effect.”
What’s most impressive about Lori Compas (at least to me) is what a great campaign she’s run considering how little political experience she has. The fact that Lori’s run such a great campaign – and gotten such a great response from the voters in the 13th district – speaks volumes about the power of grassroots organizing and campaigning. Sure, it’s great to have a campaign warchest full of money to spend on TV ads and mailings, but the kind of campaign Lori Compas has run demonstrates that money is no substitute for shoe leather and hard work.