A Weekly Roundup of the Hot Mess That Is the Republican Primary for Governor



MADISON, Wis.Welcome to “Knives Out”— Rebecca Kleefisch’s favorite phrase and a weekly roundup of the infighting between the radical Republicans running for Wisconsin governor.


The GOP is locked in a heated and brutal primary for governor, where Rebecca Kleefisch, Kevin Nicholson, and Tim Ramthun are trying to prove they are the most divisive candidate in the race. What’s going on in the Republican Party is so outrageous, it’s hard to keep track of all of their blunders — so we’ve got you covered:

Who Said It?

Can you guess who said the following?


Tony Evers is “an outstanding governor, an individual who is doing a wonderful job for the State of Wisconsin.”


Scroll to the end of this newsletter for the answer.


Kevin Nicholson Tries to Anna Delvey the Wisconsin GOP


Behind closed doors this week, despite constantly arguing against the process the Republican Party of Wisconsin uses to endorse candidates, Kevin Nicholson begged for the RPW’s endorsement.


According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, however, the RPW refused to even take a vote to include Nicholson’s name on the ballot because candidates are required to show they have at least 1,000 donors and $100,000.


A Republican Party insider said Nicholson “refused to provide the committee with evidence that he had met the metrics.” Nicholson reportedly told the committee: ”You know I’m viable — just trust me.”


Where have we heard that before?


If you are caught up with your true crime binging on Netflix, Kevin Nicholson sounds an awful lot like con artist Anna Delvey. Does the RPW accept wire transfers?


Extremist Republican Group Endorses Kleefisch


While Kleefisch continues to try to prove that she is the most radical candidate, a claim that was called into question recently by a heckler at a UW-Madison College Republicans meeting, she received an endorsement from CPAC, the right-wing group known for hosting extreme politicians and condoning Trump’s conspiracy theories.


Which is pretty radical… Remember these moments?

  1. Mitch McConnell brandishes a gun for retired senator Tom Coburn, who was receiving a lifetime achievement award from the NRA.
  2. MyPillow guy Mike Lindell has a meltdown when a VICE reporter asks him questions, while the crowd around them chants “fight! fight! fight!”
  3. Candace Owens goes on a long and confusing rant about bear cannibalism.
  4. Donald Trump calls Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “very savvy.”
  5. Despite literally everything… each year CPAC embraces Donald Trump.


Tim Ramthun is probably crushed he missed out on the CPAC endorsement… but there’s always Mar-a-Lago.


Kleefisch Uses Children As Pawns, Brings Her Firebrand Politics to Local School Board Elections


The American Independent reported this week that Rebecca Kleefisch is involved in a “very aggressive” campaign to insert radical right-wing political fights into local school board elections. Kleefisch’s PAC donated to the three GOP-backed candidates in Waukesha, which are also being supported by right-wing dark money groups American Majority and the Leadership Institute.


American Majority is known for faking grassroots support in local elections — like in the Mequon-Thiensville school district, where Wisconsinites resoundingly rejected Kleefisch-backed candidates in a school board recall election last year.


Instead of focusing on bringing people together, Kleefisch has downplayed violence against school board members, stood by a candidate for school board after since-deleted tweets revealed homophobia and a disregard for white supremacy, and endorsed a Menomonee Falls Village Trustee candidate who came under fire in 2020 for making violent comments on social media.


The last thing Wisconsinites want is more divisive politics — they made that very clear in Mequon-Thiensville.


“Who Said It” Answer Revealed

Tommy Thompson, about Governor Tony Evers, in February 2021.


Thompson — who is one of Gov. Evers’ biggest fans — met with Donald Trump this week while considering a run for governor. Against Gov. Evers.


Apparently, after seeing Gov. Evers’ solid poll numbers, Republicans are fishing for better candidates. They won’t find one — any Republican nominee out of this dumpster fire of a primary will have to stake out the most extreme position on every issue and embrace Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email