The parents of Kevin Nicholson, a Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate attempting to unseat incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin, have donated the legal maximum to Baldwin’s primary campaign, according to a new report.
Nicholson’s parents, Donna and Michael, both donated $2,700 to Baldwin’s primary campaign, according to a Federal Election Commission filing by Baldwin’s campaign from earlier in February, CNN’s KFILE reports.
Although Nicholson has admitted his parents are Democrats and his mother has historically donated to Democratic groups and candidates such as Baldwin, the donations are the first made since Nicholson revealed he would be running in the Republican primary.
"My parents have a different worldview than I do, and it is not surprising that they would support a candidate like Tammy Baldwin who shares their perspective,” Nicholson, who announced he would be running in July, said in a statement to CNN.
"I'm a conservative today not because I was born one, but because of the experience I earned as a Marine in combat, my experience as a husband and father, my choice to be a Christian, the schools I chose to attend, and the decision to pursue the career that I have. Regardless of who may disagree with my life decisions, I would not trade these experiences for anything, and they will always guide my views as Wisconsin's next U.S. Senator,” he added.
But Nicholson’s own political views have been put under scrutiny when he was caught on tape bashing House Speaker Paul Ryan, also a Republican from Wisconsin, causing some to believe he shared the same political views as his mother, who has contributed to a political action committee that backed Ryan's Democratic challenger.
But members of Nicholson’s campaign pushed back on those calling his beliefs into question.
"This is an absurd and disingenuous question," campaign spokesman Michael Antonopoulos told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in November. "Kevin is a conservative who supports Speaker Ryan and has stated repeatedly that he comes from a family of Democrats."
Although Nicholson’s parents are legally not permitted to donate any more to Baldwin’s primary election, they can donate up to the same amount again once the general election is underway.