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Family Feud: Parents of GOP Senate hopeful donate max to Dem opponent

DATE POSTED:February 13, 2018

So, you know when your parents really don’t agree with you? Then, to top it all off, they do something about it?

Wisconsin Senate hopeful Kevin Nicholson is a Republican and his parents, according to a Federal Election Commission filing, donated the legal maximum to Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s primary campaign in December. Nicholson, who announced his Senate run in late July, hopes to unseat Baldwin in the upcoming midterm elections.

The total donation made by Nicholson’s parents, Donna and Michael, came out to $2,700 each. 

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported in November that Donna made 15 donations to Baldwin’s campaign between 2012 and 2016, totaling to $441.

Nicholson on being GOP

Nicholson, a former Marine, grew up in a Democratic household and was even elected president of the College Democrats of America in 1999 as a University of Minnesota junior.

Now, Nicholson has been endorsed by backers such as Great America PAC, which reportedly has ties to former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and conservative group Club for Growth.

"Kevin is even more impressive in person than he is on paper," Club for Growth President David McIntosh told Politico in September 2017.

We continue to build a strong, broad base of conservative support!https://t.co/SaFiXCTvRq pic.twitter.com/MWs9pmWkf4

— Kevin Nicholson (@KevinMNicholson) February 7, 2018

In terms of what led to his party switch, Nicholson told Politico that his 2007 tour in Iraq put him over the edge. That's when he'd "given up on any shred of, 'I’ll be a different kind of Democrat.'" Anti-war rhetoric from Dems like Obama and Hillary Clinton, he said, made him "livid."

"I knew what we were doing there," Nicholson said. "We were stabilizing that country. We made incredible amounts of progress. And what I was hearing back home was a complete and absolute lie, as politicians were running around calling it a failure."

Now, Nicholson's campaign slogan reads, "Send in the Marine. Take back Washington."

"In my younger days, I was a Democrat," Nicholson states in his campaign video. "I used to do nothing and know everything. But since then we’ve had three kids, I’ve fought in two wars and I’ve worked in businesses around the world. And after you’ve been hit in the face with that much reality, you cannot help but become a strong conservative."

"I'm a conservative today not because I was born one," Nicholson told CNN, "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."

Nicholson family feud or nothing new?

Nicholson reportedly told Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 2000 that his parents wouldn’t approve of him running for office in Wisconsin as a Democrat because they were "afraid of being found out as the only Democrats" where he grew up in Mequon.

And now that he’s a Republican? Well, Nicholson doesn't seem fazed.

Nicholson couldn't be reached for immediate comment but told CNN, "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."

WATCH: Nicholson, "Why I'm a Conservative"

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