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Democrats at state convention focus on rebuilding

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APPLETON -- Democratic Party leaders in Wisconsin asked supporters at their state convention this weekend to put their disappointment behind them following Wisconsin's recall elections, and to throw their energy into the elections in November.

Democrats from across the state gathered in Appleton on Saturday, June 9th at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel for their annual state convention.  The convention falls just days after Republican Governor Scott Walker survived the recall election against Democratic candidate and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. 

Speaking to the convention, U.S. Congressman Ron Kind asked Democrats to march into battle again for their candidates in the upcoming elections in November.

"This is gonna turn around.  This is gonna come back.  November in the state of Wisconsin is going to be a good month for Democrats again here in Wisconsin," Kind said.

Featured speakers also included Wisconsin's retiring U.S. Senator Herb Kohl and Barrett.

"We may not have achieved everything we wanted to achieve Tuesday, and we all know that, everyone knows that, but bear in mind, four of the state senators who voted for Act 10, which led us to where we are today, are no longer members of the state Senate," Barrett said at the convention.

Democrats were asked to look forward to the U.S. Senate race and to support their candidate, U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.  Baldwin told FOX6 News that even though the Democrats lost the governor's race, she's encouraged by exit polls showing support for President Obama.

"I think people understand that the president’s race and my race for U.S. senate is about the dysfunction in Washington, and needing to change Washington.  That’s a very different question before voters," Baldwin said.

Party leaders reminded Democrats that they did win the majority in the state Senate, as Democrat John Lehman defeated incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard in the 21st Senate District in Racine.  They asked Democrats to heal and rebuild.

"Whatever pain or disappointment we feel over one election -- it doesn’t compare to the sacrifices and struggles that many families across the state are facing on a daily basis." Baldwin said.

Republican Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Ben Sparks released this statement about Debbie Wasserman's Schultz's appearance at the convention:

"As liberal grassroots activists throughout the state gather at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's state convention this weekend, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's primary mission will be 'damage control,' after President Obama and the DNC left Wisconsin Democrats high and dry during during the recall election. After completely abandoning Wisconsin Democrats, Debbie Wasserman Schultz cannot credibly ask Wisconsin's liberal grassroots to get enthusiastic about helping the DNC and President Obama in November."

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