Evers victory: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, D, has won a second term after defeating Republican challenger Tim Michels. Evers will hold the seat after flipping it for Democrats in 2018.
The race was deadlocked and could have gone either way.
Before becoming governor, Evers had served as the state’s superintendent of public instruction since 2009. Michels is a Trump-backed Army veteran who owns a construction company.
Gun control and the Second Amendment became a big issue during the campaign. Gov. Evers backed universal background checks and red flag laws, but Michels called those unconstitutional.
Abortion also took center stage after the Dobbs decision allowed a state abortion ban from 1849 to take effect. The law has one exception — to save the life of the mother. Michels said he is “pro-life” but would be willing to sign a law expanding exceptions to include rape and incest. Evers wants the state to return to Roe v. Wade-era rules. He once called the Republican-controlled legislature into a special session, hoping it would allow a state-wide referendum on abortion rights. The legislature adjourned immediately.
Evers had a fundraising advantage over Michels. The incumbent started the year with money in the bank and was able to spend about $10 million more than his opponent. Michels is personally wealthy and gave $19 million to his own campaign. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign announced it was the most expensive governor’s race in state history, as combined spending totaled about $115 million.