Chris Larson considering challenge to Chris Abele

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Democratic State Senator Chris Larson is considering a challenge to incumbent Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele in 2016.

Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson is talking to supporters about challenging Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele in the spring election, with Larson likely to announce a bid soon.

Multiple sources confirmed that Larson, a former Milwaukee County Board supervisor and Senate minority leader, was actively exploring a run in which he would challenge Abele, a Democrat, from the left.

Larson would seek to challenge Abele for his rocky relations with the County Board and his collaboration on bills with the Republican-led Legislature to empower himself as county executive and undercut county supervisors. A bid against Abele would draw on likely support from the Wisconsin Working Families Party, a coalition of labor and community groups that is led by Abele foe and Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic, the former board chairwoman.

While Chris Abele would certainly be difficult to beat given his deep pockets and willingness to throw some of his personal wealth into his campaign, Chris Larson has proven himself to be a prodigious fundraiser, so I’d imagine he could raise the funds necessary to pose a credible challenge to Abele.

Based on what I’ve seen on Twitter and elsewhere, some conservatives & moderates are eager to see Larson challenge Abele because they believe Abele would win in a landslide – 74% to 26%, no less – but it’s clear those folks have no respect for Chris Larson’s ability to campaign. In addition to his ability to raise funds, Larson has proven that he’s more than capable of running the kind of effective ground game that would be necessary to beat an entrenched incumbent (anyone remember Jeff Plale?).


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5 thoughts on “Chris Larson considering challenge to Chris Abele

  1. He should shit or get off the pot. I am running – declared and registered with Milwaukee County.

    As a note to the above comment – It is hard to challenge a deal you voted for.

    The erosion of democracy should be the issue. The GOP in the State Legislature wants to make the County Executive Viceroy over MPS and County land by eliminating the powers vested in elected legislative bodies. That goes against the central concepts of Locke and the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

    Eliminate unelected authorities and halt the consolidation of executive powers, let the people be soverign.

    1. JTK, thanks for an insightful comment.

      Extracting favors from Mr. Abele to stay out of the race is a possible strategy.

      I agree that, “the erosion of democracy should be the issue,” but that doesn’t galvanize the majority of voters.

      Yes, Sen. Larson voted for the deal, but there’s plenty of room for him to propose restructuring it so Edens, Lasry, and Dinan, repay the taxpayers with interest.

      How the land deals Mr. Abele gave them can be made more fair is a tougher question.

      “Deal signed: Land in Milwaukee’s Park East Corridor sold to Bucks for $1”

  2. DO IT, Sen. Larson. It’s well past time Milwaukee County got progressive leadership back in charge, and someone who actually believes in democracy.

    It’d be hilarious to see Sykes/Belling suck up to Abele in such an election, given that they’ve ripped on Larson for shoplifting when the Senator was 19, but would have to stay quiet about Abele’s DUIs and generally hungover appearance.

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