Spending in Wisconsin Governor’s Race Shatters Record

By Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Savannah Pointer is a politics reporter for The Epoch Times.
January 31, 2023Updated: January 31, 2023

Spending in Wisconsin’s governor’s race surpassed the previous record by more than 75 percent when Democratic Gov. Tony Evers won the battleground state, according to recent reports on campaign spending in state elections.

According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the total amount spent on the race, which was a national priority for both Republicans and Democrats, surpassed the previous high of $93 million established in Evers’ first triumph in 2018 and was more than double what was spent in the 2014 race.

Evers defeated Republican Tim Michels, who owns the largest construction company in the state, assuring that Democrats will have a check on the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Wisconsin’s reputation as a presidential swing state garnered national attention to the contest. Evers has vetoed more bills than any other governor in Wisconsin history, putting Republicans on the defensive on a variety of issues, including efforts to make absentee voting more difficult.

Evers and special interest groups that backed him spent almost $88 million, compared with nearly $76 million spent by Michels, other Republican primary candidates, and groups that backed them. In terms of campaign spending, Evers spent about $42 million, whereas Michels spent roughly $28.5 million.

The Democratic Governors Association spent the most money in the contest through an organization called the Alliance for Common Sense. According to the Democracy Campaign’s estimate, it spent approximately $27 million on the election. Its ads largely targeted Michels on a range of subjects, including his views on abortion and education.

The Republican Governors Association was the second-highest spender, putting more than $15 million into the contest through three distinct groups. It’s advertising mostly criticized Evers for being soft on crime.

Evers defeated Michels, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, despite concerns voiced by the Republican gubernatorial candidate that the “math” on the election “doesn’t add up,” as The Epoch Times previously reported.

“I just called Governor Evers and conceded. I wish the Evers family well,” Michels said when announcing his concession. “In hindsight, looking back, I don’t know what we would’ve done differently. It was a very spirited effort,” he added. “But it wasn’t our night tonight, and I thank everybody for all of your support.”

Michels campaigned on the promise to end soft-on-crime policies and asserted that Evers was “coddling criminals” and “abandoning law enforcement.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.