APPLETON — Outagamie County Board Chairman Tom Nelson was the Democrats’ top choice to make a run at the Congressional seat being vacated with the retirement of Reid Ribble.

Nelson answered the call today when he officially declared he would run for the Eighth Congressional District seat.

Democrats throughout the state congratulated him on the decision.

It’s one move in a complex board game that Democrats hope will lead to a majority in the House of Representatives in the fall.

Nelson formally announced his intentions to run today, April 7, 2016 during a news conference in the living room of his Appleton home.

And who are Democrats relying on to deliver them the House? Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump has been saying some of the most inflammatory, hateful, discriminatory, racist, filled-with-misogyny comments we’ve ever heard — not just from a candidate for office, but especially a candidate seeking the nomination for president of the United States,” House Democratic campaign chairman Ben Ray Lujan, the first Hispanic to hold the job, told CNN.

Democrats believe Trump as the Republican nominee would deliver a strong victory for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, and the House and Senate would follow.

For his part, Nelson has his focus solely on the Eighth District.
“The purpose of this campaign is to put people over politics,” Nelson said.

He cited standing with the steelworkers when the Kimberly New Page plant shut down, and staying at his desk on the assembly floor for six days until a budget passed, according to a news release from the campaign.

“Throughout my entire career, I’ve knocked over 80,000 doors. I’ve been active in our communities, and I have a firsthand understanding of what it takes to represent the families of northeast Wisconsin.

“That’s the kind of leadership the people of Wisconsin expect, and that’s the kind of leadership I will take to Congress,” Nelson said.

“In Congress, and over the course of this campaign, I will always remember the interests of the people I seek to represent. The purpose of my public service has always been about people, not politics, and that is not going to change.”

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.