Wisconsin governor’s race the most expensive in the country

By: - October 3, 2022 5:20 am
Gov. Tony Evers with Wisconsin flag

Gov. Tony Evers (Scott Olson | Getty Images)

With less than 40 days until Election Day, Wisconsin’s governor’s race has become the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in the country. 

The two sides have spent $55 million since the August primary. Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers and his Democratic allies have spent $38 million while Republican construction magnate Tim Michels and Republicans have spent $17 million on the race, according to AdImpact, which tracks TV ad spending in elections. 

Polls have shown Evers and Michels in a neck-and-neck race, but Evers has been out-fundraising and out-spending his opponent. 

Campaign finance records show that between the end of July and the end of August, Evers raised $4.6 million. $1.6 million of that money came from the state Democratic party. During that same time period, Michels raised about $500,000 from donors while loaning $5 million to his campaign. 

Entering the final month of the campaign however, Evers has about $5 million more than Michels, who reported having $1.1 million on hand. 

Part of his pitch in the Republican primary race was Michels’ ability to self-fund his campaign to keep up with the Democratic fundraising apparatus. He spent nearly $12 million of his own money before the primary. 

Before the primary Michels pledged that he wouldn’t be taking large-dollar donations, though after winning the nomination he went back on that pledge and said he’d accept donations of $20,000 — the maximum amount allowed under law. 

Both candidates have had 10 people give maximum allowable donations.


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Henry Redman
Henry Redman

Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.