Mike Sheridan’s running in the 15th District Senate primary against two other Democrats, as Sen. Cullen is retiring.
It’s not common for others within one’s party to be so critical of a candidate against whom they’re not running, but former colleagues of Mr. Sheridan (when he was in the Assembly) have strong criticisms of his candidacy.
(Links below are subscription req’d, to the Gazette.)
First Jim Krueser, Kenosha County executive, Former Assembly Democratic leader:
Mike Sheridan, when you were elected to the Legislature, I served as leader of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. I enjoyed working with you and believed you had a bright future. When I retired from the Assembly, I was proud to turn the leadership reins over to you. Boy, do I regret supporting you as leader.
Among a series of poor choices, your having an inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist, who had a major issue before the Legislature, reflected a true lack of leadership.
Power changed you. You were one of the top leaders in Wisconsin. This didn’t mean you could hold your office hours on the golf course. Your service was selfish rather than selfless.
Ultimately, your constituents suffered the most from your poor choices. Their disappointment was reflected in your re-election loss in 2010.
But wait, there’s more…
Assembly Democrat Fred Kessler of Milwaukee spent $5,000 on an ad just to complain about his former colleague:
Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, said he paid about $5,000 to place the radio ad in the Janesville market, including on radio stations WCLO and WJVL….
Kessler said he had many issues with Sheridan.
Beyond the payday legislation, Kessler said he didn’t like Sheridan’s leadership on issues such as funding for voucher schools, placement of sexual offenders and redistricting.
“Mike was a terrible leader,” Kessler said, claiming that Sheridan several times did not follow through on the overwhelming wishes of his caucus.
I don’t agree with many of Kessler’s positions (including his opposition to anonymity), but it’s truly unusual for these two men to speak as boldly as they have about fellow Democrat Mike Sheridan.
In Kessler’s case, he’d be happy with either of the other Democrats in the race – his opposition isn’t even wrapped around an endorsement.
I’m curious to see how this primary ends – is this kind of intra-party opposition to Mr. Sheridan derived from a well-founded concern that he might win on August 12th, or is it merely a strongly-felt expression of disappointment with a former colleague?