Trump man Tim Michels wins Wisconsin primary

Tim Michels

Tim Michels

Tim Michels, a wealthy businessman endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won the Republican primary for Wisconsin governor on Tuesday and will face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in a contest that could reshape elections in the marquee battleground.

Michels defeated former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence and had backing from establishment Republicans, including ex-Gov. Scott Walker.

In his victory speech, Michels promised to focus on jobs and the economy and said he would stand up for people who “have been left behind by the Democratic Party that just wants to focus on the social issues.”

“As governor, my number one priority is to take care of the hardworking people of Wisconsin,” Michels said.

Evers’ campaign called Michels “the most extreme and divisive nominee possible, one that will tell Donald Trump anything just to keep his endorsement.”

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Both Michels and Kleefisch falsely claimed the 2020 presidential election was rigged, a lie Trump has pushed in an effort to overturn his loss to Joe Biden.

The governor’s race was the latest proxy war between Trump and Pence, one-time partners who have backed opposing candidates in other swing states as they try to push the GOP in different directions.

The results Tuesday added to Trump’s record of wins, following victories for his preferred candidates last week in closely watched races for governor and Senate in Arizona.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who supported Trump’s second impeachment, conceded defeat in her Washington state congressional district after being overtaken in late vote tallies by a GOP challenger endorsed by the former president.

And in next Tuesday’s slate of contests, Rep. Liz Cheney, who also backed Trump’s impeachment and is the vice chair of the House panel probing his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, faces a challenging primary race.

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