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MADISON, Wis. – Joining the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Virtual State Convention Saturday evening, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers officially announced he will seek re-election in 2022. In prepared remarks to convention attendees, Evers said:
“Wisconsin, I’m in. I’m running for re-election. We’ve accomplished a lot in the last few years, but we’re just getting started. We have more work to do, together. This is the moment where we can choose to fix the big problems in Wisconsin and bounce back stronger than ever before. That means doing what’s best for our kids, creating good-paying jobs, fixing our infrastructure, supporting small businesses, and making sure everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare—all the things we want for our state.”
The rest of Governor Evers’ prepared remarks to convention attendees are below:
Good evening, Wisconsin Democrats! It’s great to be here with all of you tonight.
You know, it’s been so long since we last saw each other in person at convention, but we have a lot of victories to celebrate the next time we get to see each other. And when we do, I’ll tell you this much–the twist cones are on me. You’ve earned it!
Now, before I get started tonight, I want to thank a few people. First, I know we have nurses, healthcare workers, educators, first responders, grocers, and frontline workers out there watching tonight. You folks are the heroes of this pandemic, and you have been from Day One and you’re a big reason why Wisconsin is a national leader in getting shots in arms. We won’t forget your dedication, and we all owe you our gratitude.
I also want to thank a few others folks who always led with heart that helped us get here today. To Ben Wikler and our other party officers, Felisia Martin, Lee Snodgrass, Meg Andrietsch, and Randy Udell–congratulations on your re-election, and thanks for all of your leadership and good work helping elect Democrats up and down the ticket.
And to our county party leaders and members, organizers, volunteers–whether you made phone calls, knocked doors, helped your neighbor vote safely, or opened your pocketbook–or even did all of the above–you’re making the difference for Democrats in this state.
You did it for me in 2018, you did it again when we sent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House in 2020! And…in case you hadn’t heard, there’s an election coming up–there’s a veto pen to protect and we’ve got bags to pack for Ron Johnson. So, holy mackerel, we’re going to need your help to get it done again in 2022.
Because here’s the deal, folks–the stakes are just too damn high. Look around–we know what we’re up against.
We’re up against another decade of rigged maps. We’re up against stripping protections for pre-existing conditions and a woman’s right to choose. We’re up against people who openly reject science and refuse to acknowledge climate change. We’re up against attacks on democracy itself, and a party doing everything they can to make voting more difficult.
This list could go on. It’s clear that after all the victories we’ve had, we can’t afford to let up for one single second.
But tonight, I’m going to tell you what else I know. I know we’re going to come out of 2022 with even more victories under our belt. And I’ll tell you why: because, for us, it’s not just about what we’re fighting against; it’s about what we believe in and what we’re fighting FOR.
We believe that opportunity shouldn’t depend on where you live, who you love, how you identify, where your parents were born, or your background.
We believe economic development is a hell of a lot more than a handout to big corporations–which, by the way, is why I cleaned up the last administration’s Foxconn mess and delivered on my promise to negotiate a better deal. Now, we’re going to save taxpayers 2.7 billion dollars while protecting investments already made.
We believe that making high-speed internet affordable and accessible is part of an economy that works for everyone. We believe fixing our roads and bridges is part of an economy that works for everyone. We believe investing in our farmers, rural communities, and our Main Streets is part of an economy that works for everyone. We believe childcare and caregiving are part of an economy that works for everyone. We believe addressing racial disparities and equity are part of an economy that works for everyone.
We believe building this economy depends on investing in good healthcare, good roads, and good schools–all the things that ensure folks want to come here, live here, and work here.
It’s why we believe that what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state. You remember the last guy who tried to tell you he was the ‘Education Governor’? Please. As the real Education Governor, let me tell you, we believe in fully funding our public schools. We believe every kid deserves access to a public education from early childhood to our universities and technical colleges. We believe everyone should be able to afford higher education if they choose to pursue it.
And we believe in affordable, accessible healthcare. We believe that you shouldn’t be denied coverage because you have a pre-existing condition, which is why one of the first things I did was get us out of the lawsuit to end Obamacare. We believe we don’t have to choose between expanding access to healthcare and saving money. Because we believe in BadgerCare expansion and bringing 1.6 billion dollars home to Wisconsin thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress. And we believe decisions about women shouldn’t be made without women, which is why I’ve stopped Republican attacks on women’s healthcare in their tracks.
We also believe in truth. We believe in science. And we believe in climate change. We believe we don’t have to choose between protecting our environment and natural resources and creating good-paying, family-supporting jobs.
We believe in democracy. We believe in fair maps. We believe that people should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around. And we believe in the fundamental right to cast your ballot in a free, fair, and secure election.
We believe in the Badger Bounceback, and we believe Wisconsin will come back from this pandemic and better than we were before.
These are the things we believe in, Democrats. And this is what’s at stake in 2022.
We know Republicans aren’t going to make this easy. The one predictable thing about this pandemic–and heck, ever since November of 2018–is that Republicans will do everything in their power to stop our success, to keep us from getting things done, to keep Wisconsin headed in the right direction. They’ve taken me to court, they’ve jeopardized federal relief, they’ve gutted our budgets, they’ve tried to override my vetoes—and failed every time, by the way—and they’re going to continue playing politics with our recovery and doing what’s best for our state.
But that’s why we’re going to spend every day for the next 521 days working to win every inch and elect Democrats up and down the ballot in this state. Folks, you’ve helped me win tough fights before, and with your help we’re going to win this one, too.
Now, let’s get to work and let’s bounce back and better. And with that, I’ll hand things back to you, Ben.