Trump-endorsed candidate Tim Michels won the Republican nomination for Wisconsin governor on Tuesday after a heated race for the nomination against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
Recent polling of the primary race showed both candidates statistically tied, however, Michels came out with a narrow victory with 47 percent of the vote to Kleefisch’s 43 percent with 75 percent reporting, according to The New York Times.
“Tim Michels is a very successful businessman running for Governor of the Great State of Wisconsin,” Trump said about the candidate, adding, “During my Administration, Tim served on my infrastructure task force, and helped us plan and start building the Keystone XL Pipeline before Joe Biden launched his assault on American Energy production.”
“The current Governor, Tony Evers, has been an abject failure for the people of Wisconsin, from his abysmal handling of the China Virus, where his lockdowns were unprecedented, to rampant crime across the State,” Trump continued.
“Wisconsin needs a Governor who will Stop Inflation, Uphold the Rule of Law, strengthen our Borders (we had the strongest borders in history just two years ago, now we have the weakest!) and End the well-documented Fraud in our Elections,” the former president explained, adding, “Tim Michels is the best candidate to deliver meaningful solutions to these problems, and he will produce jobs like no one else can even imagine. Tim is an America First Conservative who Supports our Second Amendment, Honors our Brave Law Enforcement and First Responders, and Stands Strongly against the Woke Mob trying to destroy our Country.”
While both Republican candidates shared similar policy positions, the race itself pitted President Trump against other Republicans who had endorsed Kleefisch, who was number two under former Gov. Scott Walker (R) from 2011 to 2019. Former Vice President Mike Pence (R), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and members of the Wisconsin establishment like Walker endorsed the former lieutenant governor, however, those endorsements failed to carry her to victory.
Michels, who poured nearly $11 million of his own money into the campaign, is a senior executive in a family construction business – a career path reminiscent of Trump’s own.
Given the similarity, Michels has run on messaging reminiscent of Trump’s 2016 campaign saying earlier in the campaign that he is “not looking for a political career, I’m 59 years old. I am doing this to serve. President Trump didn’t have to run for president, but he wanted to drain the swamp. I don’t have to run for governor, but I’m gonna go turn Madison upside down.”
With Michel’s victory in the GOP nomination, he will now go on to face incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) with recent polling from FiveThirtyEight showing that Michels faces an uphill battle – a seven-point difference between him and the incumbent.
However, with Michels’ victory, the Wisconsin GOP is likely to culminate around him, thus boosting his chances for the top job in Madison.
Ultimately, it seems like with Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement,” Michels has a shot at walking into the governor’s mansion come November. Given his success as a businessman and now his successful run as a political outsider, Michels is likely to “have unprecedented success!” as Trump predicted. But one thing is for sure, the Trump endorsement remains invaluable for any Republican seeking office across the country.
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