The Assembly campaign committees and state parties have moved some $3 million into a few key races in the closing weeks of the campaign, including six-figure investments in one contest that had received little attention at the start of the cycle.
Rep. Tip McGuire, D-Kenosha, reported $397,061 in receipts between Sept. 1-Oct. 24 with $213,075 in expenses and $280,042 in the bank to close the period. His haul was spurred by a $250,000 transfer from the state Dem Party.
Since the pre-election period closed, the state party has transferred another $220,000 to McGuire, who first won the 64th AD seat in a 2019 special election.
To win a two-thirds majority in the Assembly, Republicans would likely have to pick off at least one strongly Dem seat. For much of the cycle, the open 54th AD in the Oshkosh area and Rep. Katrina Shankland’s 71st AD seat in the Stevens Point area have been considered the most likely targets.
But McGuire received more from the state party in the most recent reporting period than Shankland or Lori Palmeri, the Dem running for the 54th that’s being vacated by Gordon Hintz.
According to Marquette University researcher John Johnson, McGuire’s seat has had a 55.8 percent Dem performance when looking at the last two presidential campaigns and the 2018 guv election.
But insiders have been watching to see if the violent protests that shook Kenosha in 2020 would impact this fall’s elections, including in this Assembly seat.
McGuire’s opponent, Republican Ed Hibsch, reported just $9,219 raised between Sept. 1-Oct. 24 with $8,181 in expenses and $8,296 in the bank to close the period.
Hibsch, owner of a luxury transportation business, listed no transfers from RACC during the most recent period. But he filed a late-contribution report today showing $224,032 in in-kind donations from the caucus.
According to AdImpact, Hibsch had more than $180,000 reserved on cable TV, compared to almost $347,000 that McGuire had laid down.