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Meet The Wisconsin Republican Senatorial Candidates

Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir have consistently earned the strongest levels of support in Wisconsin public opinion polls in their bid for the Wisconsin Republican Senate nomination.

Update, August 14:

State Sen. Leah Vukmir defeated former Marine Kevin Nicholson to win the Republican Wisconsin U.S. Senate primary. She will now challenge Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) in November’s general election.

Original Post, July 26:

Here's a look at the five Republican candidates - alphabetically, beginning with Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir - running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin. 

Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir have consistently earned the strongest levels of support in Wisconsin public opinion polls, and have the most established campaigns throughout the state.

Three additional candidates - Charles Barman, Griffin Jones and George Lucia - are also on the ballot. They have raised varying, smaller amounts of money, and spent less time on the campaign trail. 

>> Listen to the Republican senatorial debate.

The winner of the Aug. 14 primary will face Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) in the general election.

Kevin Nicholson


Kevin Nicholson is a principal at ghSMART, helping Fortune 500 companies and investors with management assessment and organizational change.

He served as a captain in the Marine Corps, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Nicholson held several roles at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

He received his bachelor’s in political science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and master’s in business administration and public administration from Dartmouth College and Harvard University, respectively. Nicholson lives in Delafield.

Learn more about him here.

Leah Vukmir


Leah Vukmir is a nurse and current Wisconsin State Senator, serving as the assistant majority leader.

After questioning her daughter’s kindergarten reading curriculum, she became an advocate for raising educational standards across Wisconsin. She is also a former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Vukmir attended nursing school at Marquette and received her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. She lives in Brookfield.

Learn more about Vukmir here

Charles Barman


Charles Barman is the owner of Swingbelly Farm, which sells eggs and produce.

For more than 20 years, Barman was a construction superintendent, helping build Chicago skyscrapers and remodel numerous of the city’s public schools. He assisted with the build-outs of Sanwa Business Credit Corporation, Millennium Carillon Tower in Naperville, Illinois, and more. Barman also spent 18 years working in steel mills.

He attended Greer Technical College in Illinois and resides in Delavan.

Learn more about Barman here.

Griffin Jones


Griffin Jones is a treasury analyst in corporate treasury at CUNA Mutual Group.

Jones has worked for the insurance company since 2011, working his way up to his current position. Before his finance career began, he worked as a line cook, kitchen manager and USPS mail carrier.

He has a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jones lives in Madison.

Learn more about him here.

George Lucia


George Lucia has held numerous positions throughout his 47-year career. He’s been in the military, a small business owner, in sales, and more.

Lucia lives in the Green Bay area.

Learn more about him here.

Lauren Sigfusson
Lauren became WUWM's digital producer in July 2018.
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