Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin said Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., is being “groomed” to run against her in 2018.
Baldwin’s campaign sent out an email solicitation over the weekend, suggesting that the conservative sheriff has strong ties to President Donald Trump and Russia, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“He’s exactly the type of person President Trump would love to have as an ally in the Senate,” Baldwin said in her email.
“His offensive, stream-of-consciousness tweets are eerily similar to Trump’s. And, wait for it … He has ties to Russia.” The campaign cited Clarke’s 2015 trip to Moscow, where he met with the Russian deputy prime minister.
“Help us make sure we have the money to handily defeat him if he runs,” she wrote.
Clark hasn’t ruled out running, but said there is a less than 50 percent chance that he will.
“At this point, they are going to have to get me in there kicking and screaming,” he told FOX News in early March.
Craig Peterson, a political adviser to Clarke, told the newspaper in response to Baldwin’s email “I can’t put words in [Clarke’s] mouth, but it certainly is flattering that she recognizes that he would probably be the most formidable candidate out there.”
“Obviously, the message he is telling people is resoundingly strong,” Peterson added.
Baldwin’s email noted that Clarke now has four PACs helping him raise money to run against Baldwin.
The official Sheriff Clarke for Senate draft campaign has already raised more than $300,000, led by Trump supporters and reality TV show stars Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth Chapman, the newspaper reported. One of the groups hit Baldwin for being a lesbian.
Although he ran as a Democrat in Milwaukee County, Clarke has been outspoken for Trump on Twitter and TV appearances.