Evers Triples Kleefisch’s Numbers as GOP Candidates Threaten to Primary Kleefisch


MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers trounced Rebecca Kleefisch’s fundraising numbers in 2021, raising triple what his GOP opponent reported. Kleefisch’s numbers apparently inspired her potential opponents, hedge fund millionaire Eric Hovde and failed Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, to double down on their intent to jump in the race.


Gov. Evers will report raising more than $5 million in the second half of 2021, bringing his total raised in 2021 to more than $10 million — the most any governor has ever raised in the year before an election in Wisconsin history. This record-breaking haul reflects Governor Evers’ grassroots support from all 72 counties across Wisconsin.


Gov. Evers’ $10.5 million in the bank is twice as much as what Scott Walker had on-hand at this point in both 2014 and 2018 ahead of his re-election campaigns.


Kleefisch raised only one-third of Evers’ haul, has refused to announce how much she has left on hand, and failed to deter her potential primary opponents from their commitment to entering the race. Eric Hovde was reportedly “nonplussed” and “unfazed” by Kleefisch’s numbers, as he threatened to spend millions of his own money on the race. Looks like she’ll have to spend the money she’s scrounged together on a very long and expensive primary.


Read more about Evers’ record-shattering fundraising haul below.


Associated Press: Wisconsin gubernatorial campaigns hauling in massive funds


Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers raised $10 million last year, while his top Republican challenger brought in $3.3 million in just four months, massive fundraising totals announced Monday that point to how expensive and hard fought the race will be in the battleground state.


Evers released his fundraising totals just hours after Republican rival Rebecca Kleefisch, a former lieutenant governor, announced how much she raised since getting into the race in September.


Evers, who had $10.5 million on hand at the start of the year, stands as a block to the Republican-controlled state Legislature, and Democrats are desperate to keep him in place to stop the GOP agenda ahead of the 2024 presidential election.


Evers raised the most of any incumbent governor the year before they are on the ballot, his campaign said.




Hovde, a millionaire with the ability to self-finance, was nonplussed about Kleefisch’s fundraising totals.


“Good for her, but that would not have any impact on my decision making,” he said.




If Uihlein backs Nicholson again as expected, or if Hovde gets into the race, millions could be spent in the Republican primary before the winner on Aug. 9 moves on to face Evers.




WPR: Evers campaign reports millions more than Kleefisch headed into election year


Democratic Gov. Tony Evers raised millions more than Republican challenger Rebecca Kleefisch in the second half of last year, according to unofficial numbers released Monday by their campaigns.


Evers’ campaign said the governor raised more than $5 million in the second half of 2021 while Kleefisch’s campaign said she raised more than $3.3 million.


The Evers campaign also said Monday the governor raised a total of more than $10 million during all of 2021, leaving him with $10.5 million in the bank headed into the election year.




Should Nicholson run, it would require Kleefisch to spend some of her funds to campaign against him rather than focusing entirely on Evers.


The general election is Nov. 8.


Wisconsin State Journal: Tony Evers raised record-setting $10 million last year in reelection bid


Democratic Gov. Tony Evers raised another $5 million in the second half of last year, bringing his 2021 fundraising total to more than $10 million — the most raised in a year by any gubernatorial candidate in state history, his campaign said Monday.


Evers’ $10.5 million on hand was announced hours after former Lt. Gov. and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch reported raising more than $3.3 million in the first four months of her campaign, marking one of the biggest hauls among a Wisconsin candidate’s first fundraising report.




Hovde, a millionaire with the ability to self-finance, was unfazed by Kleefisch’s fundraising totals.


“Good for her, but that would not have any impact on my decision making,” he said.


Nicholson previously said that he would run for governor if U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson sought a third Senate term. With Johnson formally announcing his re-election bid on Sunday, Nicholson tweeted that “it’s no secret that I’m considering a run for Governor. It is time for new leadership in Wisconsin.”


“I do believe I have a role to play in setting the course for a better future for all of us,” Nicholson tweeted Sunday. “Over the coming days my family, friends, and I will continue to pray for wisdom for our next steps.”

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