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GOP Leaders Prepare to Reform Image for Next Round of ElectionsSubmitted: 05/04/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin GOP leaders and a headliner from Washington rallied party members at today's convention.

Legislators say they're taking stock of the party, learning from a disappointing 2012 election cycle, and strategizing for upcoming mid-terms.

Governor Scott Walker echoed optimism heard from other speakers today. They said Wisconsin is the model the national GOP should follow.

"So I think going forward in 2014 the choice is pretty clear. We don't want to go back to the days of double digit tax increases, of billion dollar budget deficits and record job loss. Do you want to go back?" says Gov. Walker.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the party has the right leaders and the right message. But he says Wisconsin has a disconnect when it comes to getting that message to voters when it matters most.

"And we're winning just about everywhere, almost everything. Except we get into this presidential election cycle. And if we're being honest, we haven't won a decisive presidential race in 24 years. So what's going on? I want to talk to you about that," says Priebus.

Tomorrow night we'll have more from Priebus on his bold challenge to the GOP to soften its image.

I also sat down with 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. He told us how he thinks Republicans can connect with disenchanted voters.

That's tomorrow night on Newswatch 12 Weekend.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - This years Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River, and now the choir performing at the tree-lighting ceremony will come from Eagle River, too.

The Northland Pines High School choir got in one last practice before they head down to Madison tomorrow.

More than 30 students will be performing in front of the governor.

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MADISON - Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump want to stop Wisconsin's ongoing presidential election recount.

A lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order was filed late Thursday in federal court in Madison. It was filed by the Great America PAC, the Stop Hillary PAC and Wisconsin voter Ronald R. Johnson.

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RHINELANDER - County Clerks across the state thought their most intense election work ended late on the night of Nov. 8. But today, they began the presidential election recount. 

The team at the Oneida County Courthouse got started early this morning. Oneida County Clerk Mary Bartelt and her team had to hand count the ballots from 11 towns. The goal was to count all 11 by the end of the day. 

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TIPLER - Don't expect Florence County to press any criminal charges in the November death of a sawmill worker.

Fifty-three-year-old John Chitko died November 15 at the Chitko Brothers Lumber facility in Tipler, near the Florence-Forest county line. His death appears to be a simple accident.

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RHINELANDER - A Merrill Man died in a crash near Rhinelander Wednesday afternoon.

Forty-year-old Daniel Erickson has been identified as the man who was killed when his car hit a semi.


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TOWN OF PINE RIVER - Thursday morning the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office released the name of a hunter found dead near Merrill.

Search teams found 76-year-old William Storm's body near the edge of the Pine River around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies initially reported Storm as being 73 years old.  Storm was hunting during the day and shot a deer across the river. He went back home to get his waders to cross the river, but never came home.

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STEVENS POINT - A man from Plainfield Wisconsin died in a crash Tuesday afternoon in Portage County.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office revealed Thursday morning that 59-year-old Scott Otterson was killed in the wreck.

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