Dem Fitchburg Mayor Aaron Richardson and GOP attorney John Leiber pulled off upsets in Tuesday’s primaries for state treasurer to square off against each other in November.
Richardson spent just $13,418 on his campaign through the end of July, but edged Gillian Battino by some 8,000 votes even though the Wausau doctor dropped $310,000 of her own money on the race.
Leiber won in a blowout even though Milwaukee Rev. Orlando Owens was endorsed by the Republican Party of Wisconsin at its state convention in May.
With nearly 98 percent of the vote in, Leiber, of Cottage Grove, was at 65.8 percent of the vote.
Leiber told WisPolitics.com he is “thrilled” his campaign resonated with voters. While he said he wasn’t surprised he won, he was taken aback by the margin of victory.
“To be honest, I thought it was going to be a lot closer,” Leiber said.
Leiber said he thinks Republicans want a state treasurer who is a fiscal conservative focused on small government. Leiber has raised $10,289 over his campaign and spent $4,070. He also listed $7,600 in loans in his most recent campaign finance report.
Owens both raised and spent more on his campaign than Leiber with $22,674 in receipts and $24,584 in disbursements. Owens told WisPolitics.com “the people of Wisconsin spoke.” He declined to provide details on how the Republican Party contributed to his campaign.
Battino initially got into the Dem race after dropping a bid for U.S. Senate. She spent $334,639 on her campaign. Her $310,000 in loans accounted for the vast majority of the $369,554 she raised.
Dem West Allis Ald. Angelito Tenorio raised $40,781 on his bid and spent $27,751.