Fundraising shows tight races for Wisconsin governor, attorney general

MADISON, Wis. — The latest fundraising totals in the race for Wisconsin governor mirror what the polls show — it will be a photo-finish this November, according to an expert in Wisconsin political fundraising.

“It’s a close race in the money field. It’s going to be a close race in the vote field too,” said Matthew Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

In the race for governor, challenger Tim Michels outraised incumbent Tony Evers in the latest fundraising period, which encompasses roughly the first month after the August primary. Evers recorded $4.6 million in that period, while Michels raised $5.4 million over the same time.

The caveat is that most of the money coming into the Michels campaign over that month came from the candidate himself. He self-funded to the tune of $5 million.

Evers also received some help from outside groups, like $1.6 million from the state Democratic Party.

Comparing individual donors, Evers outraised Michels by roughly $2.9 million to $400,000.

The incumbent governor spent more as well — roughly $6 million in the first month of the general election, compared to $4.4 million from Michels. Evers still has $6 million in the bank after the reporting period, while Michels has close to $1.2 million.

In the race for attorney general, incumbent Josh Kaul has the edge over challenger Eric Toney. Kaul raised $481,132 during that period, compared to $136,633 for Toney.

That marks a significant uptick for Toney, who before the primary had raised $112,742. Kaul spent $241,444 in the first month of the general election and has more than $2.2 million in the bank, Toney spent $52,000 and has more than $120,000 in the bank.