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Press Releases

ICYMI: Tammy Baldwin Joins Wisconsin’s Fish Fry Expert for a Friday Night Fish Fry

ICYMI: Tammy Baldwin Joins Wisconsin’s Fish Fry Expert for a Friday Night Fish Fry

Read more in the Milwaukee Record: Enjoy Every Fish Fry: I had a Friday fish fry with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin

In case you missed it, Tammy Baldwin met with Wisconsin fish fry expert, Caleb Westphal, for a Friday night fish fry in Watertown, WI. Westphal, a fish fry connoisseur, hasn’t missed a Friday fish fry dinner for 543 weeks in a row or 10 and a half years. His enthusiasm for the Wisconsin staple led to Governor Tony Evers officially declaring February 16th, 2024 as “Friday Fish Fry Day.” 

Tammy chatting about all things Wisconsin with Wisconsin fish fry expert, Caleb Westphal.

Over an all you can eat fish fry and an order of Brandy Old Fashioneds (sweet and sour respectively), Tammy and Westphal had a conversation about all things Wisconsin, including supper clubs, breweries, and their respective “go everywhere” campaigns whether to run for office or to try all of the state’s best fish frys. They also talked about the power of fish frys bringing Wisconsinites together during these polarizing times. Wisconsinites from all backgrounds and beliefs look forward to Friday nights because of fish fry dinners and the conversation with family and friends that comes along with it – whether you agree or disagree.

Read Westphal’s piece in the Milwaukee Record: Enjoy Every Fish Fry: I had a Friday fish fry with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin

Highlights:

  • If I was asked to eat a fish fry with a politician, I’d eat one with any Republican or Democrat who I agree with or disagree with on any number of issues, as long as they believe in democracy and maybe in basic facts needed for democracy to exist, like free and fair elections and the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Well, I was asked to eat a fish fry with a politician. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s team reached out on March 1. […]
  • Just as I’ll go anywhere and everywhere for fish frys—to the big cities or the countryside, to restaurants in Democratic or Republican strongholds—Tammy Baldwin has a “go everywhere” strategy for campaigning, with hopes of reaching voters and being competitive in all parts of Wisconsin, including in small towns and rural areas. It was her strategy in 2018, and perhaps played some role when she handily won reelection and beat her Republican opponent, Leah Vukmir, by almost 11 percentage points. The other statewide races were much closer. For instance, candidate Tony Evers defeated Governor Walker by just over one percent.
  • This year, at the end of March, Baldwin embarked on a five-day “Dairyland Tour,” covering 14,000 miles and 19 counties, none of which were one of Wisconsin’s top five most populous counties. Some of the communities she stopped in were Superior, Ashland, Washburn, Richland Center, Wisconsin Dells, and New Glarus. It was in the spirit of “go everywhere” and the “Dairyland Tour” that I picked the Elias Inn and Watertown as our destination. In 2018, Baldwin lost Dodge County by about 14 percentage points and Jefferson by about four—this was red country. This was made all the more apparent when I walked by the new Jefferson County Republican Party headquarters shortly before I headed to the supper club. […]
  • I asked the senator about her “Dairyland Tour.” She said a late March snowstorm hit them on their first day, when they were way up north in Superior. I asked if this changed the trajectory of her travels, and she told me that her meeting with the chamber of commerce had to be cancelled (many of the folks who would have been at it had to stay home to watch their kids, who had a snow day), but that this gave her the opportunity to meet with snowplow drivers instead, and to bring them some donuts. I shared the story that the phone often rang in the middle of the night when I was growing up, because my dad was a snowplow driver for the City of Fond du Lac, and almost every time there was a snowstorm he would get the call. I know firsthand the hard work these employees do to keep cities safe and functioning. […]
  • While fish frys might not heal all political divisions or present concrete policy solutions to the great issues of our time, they exist on common ground and bring out the best of Wisconsinites. Maybe the only thing more patriotic than eating a fish fry in Wisconsin is voting. And just like how I’ll continue eating fish frys alongside Republicans and Democrats, I’ll keep voting alongside them too. Our state motto isn’t “Forward” for nothing.