If a Democratic political strategist were to engineer the perfect challenger to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker in November, that candidate might look like a composite of the eight Democrats competing in the Aug. 14 primary.
Imagine someone with Tony Evers' knowledge of state education policy and budgeting, Matt Flynn's military experience, Mike McCabe's grassroots following, Mahlon Mitchell's outreach to minorities, Josh Pade's business experience, Kelda Roys' political acumen, Paul Soglin's decades of municipal leadership and Kathleen Vinehout's appeal to rural voters.
But Democrats won't be able to Frankenstein their way to victory in November. Each candidate has strengths — and weaknesses — and primary voters will have to pick the candidate who makes the best case for why he or she should be the nominee.
The candidates have spent months trying to cobble together a coalition of voters who will power them through the primary. The Wisconsin State Journal interviewed all eight candidates to give them a chance to highlight the political path that led them to this moment and make their case for why they should be the nominee.
The three-term state superintendent is leading in primary polls while taking a more centrist position than his Democratic opponents.
The former party chairman is unbowed by criticism from some Democrats for representing the Milwaukee archdiocese during the priest abuse scandal.
The former Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director and reluctant candidate developed a distrust of those in power at an early age.
The firefighter union president's laid-back demeanor has resulted in some faux pas, but he hopes it will help build a statewide coalition of union members and minorities.
The first time Josh Pade thought he might run for governor of his home state was in 2011 when he was an intern working on Capitol Hill for Cal…
The youngest Democrat running has emerged from a crowded primary before, but also stumbled in 2012 when she went negative against a party favorite.
The state senator from Alma has overcome adversity within her own family and party as she focuses on a people-powered path to the nomination.