On the website for the Wisconsin Secretary of State, the incumbent, Doug LaFollette, is quoted as saying:
“I believe my most important job is being there when you need help.”
However David D. King, a minister, activist and founder of the Milwaukee God Squad, who is challenging LaFollette as a Republican in the November 2 general election, would beg to differ.
King doesn’t believe LaFollette has done as much as he could in serving Wisconsinites, claiming he would do even more in flexing the power and influence of the office as secretary of state to help in the area of job creation, crime and protecting the voting rights of those in the military.
And according to King, many primary voters statewide believe its time for a change as well.
King pointed out that in the Fall Primary in September, he received almost three times more votes than LaFollette, who is related to legendary Wisconsin politician Robert “Fighting Bob” LaFollette.
King received 453,000 votes to LaFollette’s 196,000. Both candidates were on the September 14 ballot for their respective parties. Neither had a primary opponent.
“I got 453,000 votes in the primary. So unless there’s a blast in the next 30 days, I’ll beat him (LaFollette),” King said in a recent interview. He is now focusing the majority of his campaign in Milwaukee.
King said he focused on the outlying areas of the state because he is already known in the Milwaukee community through his work with the Milwaukee God Squad, which not only spreads the gospel but helps to improve the economic conditions of inner-city families.
If he does beat LaFollette, King will become the second African American to hold the position in state history. Vel Phillips was the first. Even more significant, King would be the first Black Republican to assume the office.
King said he has been received well by Wisconsinites in outlying portions of the state—which is predominately White—while canvassing the state talking about what he would do as Secretary of State.
The secretary of state is responsible for issuing notary public authentications and apostilles, recording annexations and charger ordinances of municipalities, and registering trade names and trademarks.
The office also publishes, legislative acts, files oaths of office and deeds for state lands and buildings. The secretary of state is also a member of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.
But according to King, the office of Secretary of State can do even more to help improve the conditions of the community. King said the office could help clean up voter fraud, work to have the state’s spring primaries pushed back to May to accommodate military personnel serving overseas.
“It’s the only office in government that can address social issues,” King claimed. “I can be hands-on in addressing the issues of crime, jobs and abortion.
“With the God Squad, I’m involved with issues of life. That’s why I want this office. I can keep government connected to people and people connected to government.”
King doesn’t see his affiliation with the Republican Party as a hinderance. Noting that Black Republicans were at one time more prevalent than Black Democrats before the late 1950s and early 1960s, King said a number of famous African Americans were Republicans such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglas.
“Most great leaders who fought for us from slavery to now were Republicans.”
King said he has talked to state GOP officials about attracting more people of color to the party, admitting the party has done a poor job of communicating its message to the Black community.