Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is a rarity in Wisconsin. In a notoriously progressive state, the Democratic sheriff is staunchly pro-Second Amendment. After rocketing to the national spotlight with a speech at the NRA convention earlier this year, Clarke -- who faces a primary election on Tuesday -- is under attack by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and anti-gun activists.
Clarke said the "left-leaning side" of his party is trying to replace him for one reason: his strong support for the Second Amendment.
"I'm a constitutional sheriff. It's my position to encourage people to play a role in their own safety," Clarke said on Glenn Beck's radio program Tuesday. "I tell people, you have a duty to protect yourself and your family."
"It's got the hard-liners on the left up in arms," Clarke continued. "They feel that my message is resonating because it is a common sense message for everyday people. ... They've run two solid weeks, 24/7, of attack ads, smearing me, my reputation [with] lies, innuendos."
According to his website, Clarke won his first election with 64 percent of the vote in 2002. He won 73 percent of the vote in 2006, and 74 percent in 2010.
One of his main priorities, Clarke said, is beating back the "soft-on-crime criminal justice system" in Milwaukee.
As he sees it, the system tries to take "violent career criminals and turn them into victims by claiming that the criminal justice system is racist."
"This is the kind of nonsense that I've been beating back, and I'm the only elected official in the Milwaukee area that is beating back this message," he said.
Clarke said he is happy to have "anybody's" vote in the primary election.
"I don't care what your religious affiliation is. I don't care what your ethnic background is. I don't care what your economic status is. I need Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, the Jewish vote, the Latino vote, the black, white. ... That's always been my base," he said. "It's been a patchwork of people who get what I'm talking about and say, 'Well, that transcends my party affiliation.'"
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