U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and here Republican challenger, state Senator Leah Vukmir, drew stark contrasts between one another during their first debate Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Baldwin and Vukmir argued about health care, immigration, the #MeToo movement, and abortion during the hour long debate. Their exchanges grew the most heated over the scandal at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where opioids were over prescribed to veterans.
Vukmir accused Baldwin of turning “her back on the veterans of the Tomah VA.” Baldwin shot back that Vukmir was using a Marine veteran’s death for her own political gain. “Leah Vukmir should be ashamed of herself.”
WATCH: Baldwin-Vukmir debate on WisconsinEye
Baldwin is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate, after defeating former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson in 2012. Prior to that, she served from 1999-2013, representing Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district. She also served in the Wisconsin state Assembly from 1993-1999.
Vukmir is a registered nurse and pediatric nurse practitioner. She currently represents the 5th district in the Wisconsin State Senate. She previously served in the state Assembly from 2002 to 2011. Vukmir was first elected to the 14th district seat after Scott Walker was elected Milwaukee County Executive. She and Governor Walker remain close political allies.
The next U.S. Senate debate is Saturday, October 13th at the UW Center for Civic Engagement on the UW-Marathon County campus in Wausau. The third and final debate will be Friday October 19th at Marquette University in Milwaukee.