Both Dem and GOP state party chairs say they’re planning major and likely historic investments ahead of the April Supreme Court race.

“The cow has left the barn on this, I’m afraid,” Dem Chair Ben Wikler said on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with “We cannot unilaterally disarm. In this race, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is organizing in every square inch of Wisconsin, in rural areas, suburbs and cities alike across gender, ethnicity, race.”

The race features liberal candidate Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz and conservative former Justice Daniel Kelly. The race will determine philosophical control of the high court, which has been controlled by conservatives.

“We are also providing financial support to the Protasiewicz campaign, a fundraising partnership, to ensure that she has the resources to fight back against the kind of attack ads that are already on the air,” Wikler said. “We really can leave no stone unturned because the stakes for the freedom to control your own body, the freedom to live in a Democracy are so vast.”

In the meantime, Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brian Schimming says Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow, who came in a close third behind Kelly, committed to him to “do what she can to help” leading up to the April election.

Dorow quickly endorsed Kelly after conceding. In the days leading up to the primary, Kelly wouldn’t say whether he would do the same.

“I think it would have been a little bit different context,” Schimming told “UpFront.” “But I do think Dan would have gotten there.”

Schimming dismissed primary results showing Protasiewicz and Dorow outperforming Kelly in parts of Southeast Wisconsin and promised a robust investment and campaign.

“This has turned into kind of a national race, literally talking about it all over the country,” Schimming said. “I suspect both sides will see a fair amount of funding come in from around the country because it’s not just about one Supreme Court seat. It’s about the majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and it will be Janet Protasiewicz’s attempt to turn back 25 years of reform in this state, including on school choice, Act 10, concealed carry, voter ID.”

Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he won’t attend the 2024 Republican National Convention in his home state if former President Donald Trump is the GOP nominee.

“Anybody but Trump right now for me,” Ryan told “UpFront.”

Ryan, who said he routinely talks with top House Republicans, including current House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, is urgently pushing his party beyond Trump.

“WOW county swing suburban voters don’t vote for Donald Trump,” Ryan said. “And we will lose this state again if he’s our nominee, and I really believe we will win this state if we have a nominee not named Trump.”

The Janesville native spoke at UW-Milwaukee on Thursday while promoting his new book and pushing for serious debate and reforms to programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“The current debate is awful,” Ryan said. “It’s not serving anybody, and what troubles me most our presidents, both the current president and the last president, Biden and Trump, are demagoguing this issue. And what happens if you play this entitlement politics by trying to scare people with reckless rhetoric? Then we’re going to have bankruptcy, and then these programs get cut for the current seniors.”

April’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election could break records not only in spending but turnout.

“The 2011 Supreme Court race saw 1.5 million people turn out to vote,” said JR Ross, editor of “That was a de facto referendum on Act 10, Scott Walker’s big change to collective bargaining. In 2016 we had a presidential primary on the ballot the same time as a Supreme Court race. We had just shy of 2 million people vote. In this February primary, we had 960,000 people turn out. Now you can’t just say it’s going to double for sure by April, but there’s a good bet we’re going to see it get close to doubling.”

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