Governor candidates scramble to control narrative prior to election

The Wisconsin governor’s race heated up instantly following the August 14 primary election.

The GOP struck first, attacking Democratic candidate Tony Evers for handling of a case involving a teacher viewing pornographic material at work.

Mark Morgan, Executive Director, Republican Party of Wisconsin

“You’ve already seen us start to run ads about his failure to revoke licenses,” Mark Morgan, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said.

Democrats fired back, saying the ad lacks important context.

“There were no students present,” La Crosse County Democratic Party Co-Chair Michael Smucksta said. “The law did not allow him to pull the license. My understanding is that once that was found out, Evers went to work to change that.”

Governor Scott Walker’s record on roads and schools is a target of scrutiny from the left, despite Walker focusing on recent budget spending as a positive.

Michael Smucksta, Co-Chair, La Crosse County Democratic Party

“[Walker] cut a billion dollars out of the budget and put back about $600 million,” Smucksta said.

PolitiFact, a fact checking organization, has rated the governor’s claims of a record investment in schools and investing more than previous governor Jim Doyle in transportation as “mostly false”. However, the claim that he has taken a billion dollars from public schools was also rated as “mostly false”.

The GOP and Walker also criticized their opponent concerning criminal justice reform. Evers indicated a desire to decrease the prison population by releasing nonviolent offenders early, a move blasted as dangerous.

“Signing on to the concept that you should release half the prison population […] today would mean more violent offenders back in our communities,” Morgan said.

More than $7 million has been spent on advertising in the Wisconsin governor’s race, with the majority having been spent on the Republican side so far.

Picture of Governor Scott Walker and of Tony Evers
Sam Shilts

Sam Shilts

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