Wisconsin GOP candidate’s parents contributed maximum — to his potential Democratic opponent

If Kevin Nicholson’s parents support his political aspirations, they have an odd way of showing it: Donna and Michael Nicholson donated to their Republican son’s potential general-election opponent – a Democrat – months after their child’s own campaign announcement.

As CNN first reported, Donna and Michael Nicholson each contributed $2,700 in December to the re-election campaign of incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., according to Federal Election Commission filings – the maximum allowed by law during the primary election cycle.

The couple can donate the same amount during the general election, when their 40-year-old son may or may not be Baldwin’s direct opponent.

Nicholson said his mother and father have a “different worldview” than he does, saying in a statement to The Washington Post that “it is not surprising that they would support a candidate like Tammy Baldwin who shares their perspective.”

Little is known publicly about the first-time candidate’s parents, who did not respond to a request to comment from The Post – or from other media outlets, including CNN.

Staffers from their son’s campaign even declined to discuss his parents’s occupations for a September profile in Politico, which focused on his transformation from rising star in the Democratic Party to conservative Republican. Nicholson is described in the Politico profile as being similarly private – “an intensely personal guy who is introverted by nature.”

FEC filings show Nicholson’s mother had contributed hundreds of dollars to Baldwin in the past, mostly in the run-up to her successful Senate victory in 2012. Donna Nicholson’s last contribution to Baldwin before her son’s candidacy came in 2016, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported – though she contributed to other Democratic candidates across the country, including Al Franken and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

It does not appear that Michael Nicholson made contributions during that period, according to an FEC database.

In his statement to The Post, Kevin Nicholson appeared to put greater distance between himself and the political views of his family to avoid further questions about his political identity.

“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,” he said.

He has leaned heavily on his experience as a former Marine officer and work as a business consultant to court Republicans in his Senate …read more

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