About a day after the FBI raided the Mar-a-Lago home and resort of former President Donald Trump, his choice for governor of Wisconsin won the Republican primary, according to a race call from the Associated Press.
At the end of the campaign, Trump endorsed construction manager and self-proclaimed political newcomer Tim Michels, who spent millions on a TV ad blitz, portraying himself as a businessman and “outsider” who wants to overthrow the government.
Michels may not make a living in politics, but he’s no newcomer to politics. He first ran for office in 1998, losing a Republican primary for the state Senate to current U.S. Representative Scott Fitzgerald. In 2004, Michels ran for the U.S. Senate, winning a GOP primary but losing the general election to former Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold.
After the former president’s support in that race, Michels rose in the polls and campaigned competitively against Rebecca Kleefisch, who served as lieutenant governor under former Republican Governor Scott Walker for eight years. Kleefisch was also backed by former Vice President Mike Pence.
Michels didn’t go as far as Trump in how he describes the 2020 presidential election, but he cast doubt on President Biden’s victory in Wisconsin, which was confirmed by a canvas at the statewide, a partial recount, and multiple states and federals. court decisions. When asked during a recent debate if he would sign legislation that would “undo” Biden’s 2020 win in Wisconsin, Michels kept his options open.
Michels vs. Evers in November
In 2018, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers won the gubernatorial election by a shine and the 2022 race between Michels and Evers could be just as close.
The governor has the charge and a decent approval rating on his side. Evers regularly disagrees with state Republicans and has set veto records. In many ways, his veto is the only thing standing between large GOP majorities in the legislature and measures like easing the carrying of concealed weapons and changes to election law that would likely become law under Michels.
For many in Wisconsin, Michel’s political agenda is a mystery. Although he outlined some of his priorities if elected, big questions remain about how he would govern.
But the campaign spotlight has prompted Michels to take a stand on some issues. In early July, his campaign did not respond when the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked him if he would ban emergency contraceptives, known as Plan B. Mid-month, he told reporters that he wouldn’t.
“I’m against abortion,” Michels said. “I am not against contraception.”
Michels’ stump speech lists three priorities as governor. He tells voters he’s for “election integrity,” referring to a package of changes that includes eliminating the Wisconsin Elections Commission. He said he also wanted to reduce crime and reform education.