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Posted: March 09, 2018

Candidate for governor in Wisconsin breastfeeds daughter in campaign ad

Former Wisconsin state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys is running for governor.
Andy Manis/Associated Press
Former Wisconsin state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys is running for governor.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Political candidates have been known to feature family members in their campaign ads, but a woman running for governor in Wisconsin provided a more intimate moment.

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Former state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys released her first campaign video, during which she breastfeeds her 4-month-old daughter, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Roys said the moment was unscripted, and the two-minute video is likely the first time a political candidate has nursed on camera, according to Travis Nelson Ridout, a political science professor at Washington State University.

“That’s definitely something new,” Ridout told the State Journal. “There’s probably an expectation, a hope, that something like this will go viral and get media attention. … It’s so different from what we expect to see in a political ad. Sometimes we do see politicians’ families, but we don’t see something as intimate as breastfeeding in political ads.”

During the video, Roys speaks about her work on legislation that banned children’s sippy cups that contained the chemical bisphenol A. Her family is featured, and at one point her daughter can be heard crying off-camera.

Roys’ husband brings the baby to her and she doesn’t miss a beat, lifting her sweater and beginning to breastfeed while continuing to speak. The camera pans up to her face, the State Journal reported.

“I was right in the middle of talking so they just kept rolling, figuring they would be able to use the sound,” Roys told the State Journal. “They knew the baby was going to be there and they knew I was going to be taking care of the baby sometimes.”

The video was released a day after a statewide poll showed Roys with only 0.3 percent support in the crowded Democratic gubernatorial race, the State Journal reported.

If Roys wins the Democratic primary in August, she will likely face Republican incumbent Scott Walker, who is running for a third term, CNN reported.


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