MADISON, Wis. – Tim Michels has not yet officially announced that he is running for governor in the Republican primary, but it seems his campaign has already begun.

Not only did Tommy Thompson steal Tim Michels’ thunder yesterday by announcing that Michels is running, Michels is fundraising for Senator Ron Johnson, has met with Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago, and is placing TV ads.

The only thing missing? Confirmation from Tim Michels himself.

Whatever happens with Michels’ announcement, one thing is for sure — he is embracing the most fringe ends of the party. He has significant ties to Rebecca Kleefisch’s extreme policies as a member of the Advisory Board of her 1848 Project and a member of the board of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the dark money group that endorsed Kleefisch and is running ads supporting her candidacy.

None of this must feel good for Rebecca Kleefisch either, having a long time supporter of hers run against her and having Tommy Thompson continuing to take up air time and complain that he had to give up on his campaign, which he thought he for sure would win.

It’s also bad news for Kleefisch that her old pal Ron Johnson is cozying up to Tim Michels.

The fundraising event at Michel’s home also had Kleefisch’s finance chair as a member of the host committee… so why wasn’t Rebecca invited?

“Who is Tim Michels and is he ready to run for office?” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “We have no idea because Tim Michels doesn’t appear to have spoken to a single Wisconsinite about his plans – other than Tommy Thompson and Ron Johnson. All that can be said for certain at this point is that the messy Republican primary is about to get much messier.”

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