State's Democrats gather in Milwaukee for annual convention, Feingold receives standing ovation

MILWAUKEE -- The state's Democrats are converging in Milwaukee for their annual convention this weekend. The event kicked into full swing on Friday, June 5th -- at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

Friday night is the portion of the convention where the party rolls out its power hitters and the evening is literally one speech after another from both democrats at the state level -- and those serving in Washington.

"It begins with each one of us and we will do it together. Onward, upward and forward," said State Senate Minority Leader, Jennifer Shillin.

With republicans in control of both state chambers and the governor's office, the democratic party faithful are plotting their revival for 2016.

"Every extra volunteer we recruit every extra neighbor -- we convert to our cause every extra door we knock on. Every extra tweet we sent out puts us just that much closer to winning," said Mike Tate, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman.

Some see the path back to power starting with the election of a new state party chairman, set to take place on Saturday, June 6th.

FOX6 News spoke with the current party chairman, Mike Tate, as he entered his final hours in the post.

"Democrats have had some tough losses with the advent of Scott Walker and some of his policies, but some great wins with Tammy Baldwin being in the U.S. Senate, carrying Wisconsin for the president but you know what I'm focused on isn't so much the past but looking forward to the future. I think we've got some great people running to replace me as party chair," Tate said.

The final speech, and the one perhaps most anticipated by the convention's attendees was from former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.

Feingold recently announced his plans to try and reclaim his old seat by challenging current Senator Ron Johnson. His speech covered many of the hot button issues in politics these days and essentially laid a blueprint for some of the themes we'll probably keep hearing about in this campaign.

"I can't think of a better or more needed jobs program than rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Everyone knows our nation's infrastructure is an important investment and it is in great need of attention. That means now is the time to prioritize these needs and address them," Fiengold said.

Feingold covered everything from job creation to trade during his talk Friday night. He also pledged to get out and visit each of Wisconsin's counties to listen to the state's voters.

The crowd at the convention was pretty thrilled to see Feingold back up on the stage, he received a standing ovation to close our the night.

FOX6 News will be at the convention all weekend to provide updates as they become available.