Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman isn’t too concerned by the fact that Republican U.S. Representative Tom Petri won’t endorse him as he runs to succeed Petri. “I like Congressman Petri, a nice, soft-spoken individual, but right now we’re borrowing 20 percent of our budget, and I think I’m going to be a little bit more fiscally conservative than Congressman Petri,” Grothman told KFIZ.
“Why would I endorse a person who has said that if in two years people said he was ‘just like Petri’ he would be insulted?” Petri told the Fond du Lac Reporter this week. “I don’t want to smother him with love or anything like that.”
“I think what we have in that race is a situation where Grothman had challenged Petri earlier on to a primary, and that doesn’t usually sit well, challenging a sitting member of Congress in your own party,” said Lawrence University political science professor Arnold Shober. “Some things were said, and now Petri doesn’t feel the need to endorse him.”
Grothman may not have the endorsement of Petri, but that hasn’t seemed to temper his conservative talking points. “Right now we have a welfare system out of control . . . and I’m going to be much more aggressive than Congressman Petri in reigning in that welfare system,” he said.
Petri has even said Grothman’s Democratic opponent, Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, has done a good job, although Grothman says Petri has also made a donation to Grothman’s campaign.
“It’s not good for Grothman to not be able to claim that Petri has endorsed him,” Shober told WHBY. “That doesn’t mean it’s a death knell by any stretch. The district leans Republican. But Harris will be able to say ‘look, Grothman is not the kind of Republican that Petri was. Are you sure you really want that?'”