Caleb Frostman, former Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation is a Democratic candidate in the June special election in to fill a vacancy in the 1st District State Senate seat. But many around him assumed he was a Republican and it appears that Frostman’s decision to leave his job wasn’t entirely his idea, despite announcing his resignation, multiple sources tell Media Trackers.
Three sources tell Media Trackers that most who know Frostman were stunned when he announced as a Democrat. Those who worked with him at the DCEDC assumed Frostman was a Republican, based on the time they spent with him, according to our sources. All three sources agreed to speak Media Trackers on background, meaning they would not be identified. The first source, who is familiar with the operation of the DCEDC told us that he was shocked to learn Frostman was running as a Democrat. He said as DCEDC Executive Director he saw Frostman’s values and goals parallel with those of the Walker administration.
When I heard he was running as a Democrat…I thought the whole thing was paradoxical. He talks a good game; he seems like he’s very conservative. He seems like he’s all in favor of economic development initiatives that Walker supports and just has that kind of persona about him. So when I heard that I was like wow, that just doesn’t sound right. I think we’re all kind of wondering what’s going on.
One source said that one theory he has heard is that Frostman thinks he will run as a centrist and still be able to support the types of things that he’s been working on as economic development director, but that he’s in for “one hell of a surprise” in Madison (if elected) if he thinks Democratic leadership will let him do that.
The same source said he never discussed politics with Frostman but would have guessed he was a Republican:
“Based on all the things that he works on, all the things the economic development corporation stands for, and all the things that are very similar to the Walker Administration, you just think well yeah, he must be a conservative,” he said with a laugh. “I was shocked. I was like what? You gotta be kidding me?”
Another source familiar with Frostman told Media Trackers he has “known Frostman for some time,” and he “would have thought” Frostman was a Republican
Frostman recently resigned as DCEDC Executive Director. One of our sources, who is familiar with the situation, said it’s his understanding that Frostman initially planned to stay on and the DCEDC board seemed okay with the idea. But our source says the board later reconsidered and told Frostman he would have to choose between his job and running for office, and Frostman resigned.
Media Trackers reached out to Frostman five times seeking comment. Twice to his campaign website and three times to his personal email. We received no response.