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Democrats gather for state convention

OCONOMOWOC, Wisc (WRN)   Wisconsin Democrats are optimistic, as they head to their annual convention this weekend.

Despite losing control of the state Senate and seeing little change in the Assembly last November, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate says they still had some big wins. Those include a decisive win for President Obama in Wisconsin and electing Democrat Tammy Baldwin as Wisconsin’s first female US Senator and the nation’s first openly gay Senator.

Tate says they will be looking to carry the momentum from those wins in to 2014, as the party hopes to retake the governor’s office and at least one chamber of the Legislature.

No real Democratic challengers to Republican Governor Scott Walker have emerged yet, although Tate says that’s not a bad thing. He says there are great people considering a run, and it’s “advantageous” not to have someone out there right now, so it limits the time the governor has to attack them.

This year’s convention is in Oconomowoc, which is in heavily Republican Waukesha County. It might seem like a strange place for Democrats to have a convention, but Tate says it’s part of a 72 County strategy for his party.