Elections

New high in spending by outside groups in Wisconsin's 2022 election

The largest majority of outside money spent in the state's 2022 election cycle was in the governor’s race won by Democratic incumbent Gov. Tony Evers over Republican challenger Tim Michels.

Associated Press

December 5, 2022

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Multiple campaign yard signs reading Michels for Governor are placed in a lawn, with a walkway, stairs and planters in the background.

In Wisconsin's 2022 race for governor, an analysis by the Wisconsin Democracy campaign found 35 groups spent just over $48 million to help Republicans, while 36 groups spent $44 million to benefit Democrats. (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)


AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Outside special interest groups spent at least 50% more than the previous record high in the midterm election in Wisconsin this year, pouring more than $93 million into races for governor and other state offices, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported on Dec. 5.

The largest majority of money, nearly $79 million, was spent on the governor's race won by Democratic incumbent Gov. Tony Evers over Republican challenger Tim Michels.

The previous record of nearly $62 million was set in the 2018 midterm election. Spending by outside groups that operate under different rules that candidates has been increasing exponentially in recent years. In 2010, for example, just $19 million was spent by the groups, according to the Democracy Campaign, an independent group that tracks campaign spending.

In total, 35 groups spent just over $48 million to help Republicans, while 36 groups spent $44 million to benefit Democrats, the Democracy Campaign said. The Democratic Governors Association spent the most, at just over $20 million, followed by $15 million by the Republican Governors Association.

The spending totals do not include races for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House. The figures do include the races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and all legislative races.

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