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Trump-Backed Tim Michels Wins Wisconsin GOP Primary for Governor

AP Photo/Morry Gash, File

In Wisconsin on Tuesday, Republican voters picked Trump-endorsed candidate Tim Michels to represent their party in November's challenge to incumbent Democrat Governor Tony Evers. 


At his primary night party, Michels claimed victory and said "I'd like to thank President Trump for his support and his endorsement," adding "he knows that we need new leadership in Madison and he sees a lot of similarities in me."

Michels beat out Pence-endorsed candidate Rebecca Kleefisch, the former Wisconsin Lt. Governor who served with Scott Walker and survived Democrats' 2012 recall attempt. In addition to Walker's endorsement, she had the backing of former Trump administration U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). 

In the closing days of the campaign, Kleefisch and Michels were in a dead heat with just one point separating the two in polls of Wisconsin voters leading into primary day. 

By the time the race was called by Decision Desk HQ just after 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, Michels led Kleefisch 47.3 percent to 42.7 percent with more than 80 percent of estimated votes in.


Kleefisch on Tuesday night said she "conceded this race to Tim Michels" and urged her supporters "to fight against Tony Evers."

Republican Governors Association co-chairs Doug Ducey and Pete Ricketts said in a statement that the RGA "is excited to congratulate Tim Michels on winning Wisconsin's Republican primary election for governor. As a successful businessman and job creator, Michels has what it takes to get Wisconsin back on track and the local economy moving again, the Republican state executives noted. "Under Governor Evers' failed leadership, violent crime is surging, paychecks don’t go as far, and businesses are under constant threat of bad policies. The RGA looks forward to working closely with the Michels campaign to ensure Evers is defeated in November."

Live county-by-county results are, as usual, below: 


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