Wisconsin Governor Evers and Trump choose Michels to debate

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Republican challenger Tim Michels, locked in a tight race with implications for the 2024 presidential race in the battleground state, were due to meet Friday for their only and single debate.

Evers ran as the lone bloc against a Republican-controlled legislature. Michels, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, calls himself a political outsider because he largely self-funds his run.

Evers attempted to race an abortion rights referendum, while Michels focused largely on crime.

Michels, co-owner of the state’s largest construction company, says Evers has failed to improve schools, control crime or open up the state quickly enough during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evers argues that democracy itself is at stake in the race and that a victory for Michel would bring about massive changes that most voters would oppose.

Recent polls have shown the race to be roughly even.

The winner will be able to determine how the election goes in the 2024 presidential race. Republicans have pushed for a wide range of changes, all blocked by Evers, after Trump narrowly lost the state in 2020. They did not call for changes after Trump won Wisconsin by a nearly identical margin in 2016.

Michels said he would sign bills making it harder to vote by mail. He also wants to disband Wisconsin’s bipartisan Election Commission.

The hour-long debate is sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. The election is November 8.

Scott Bauer, The Associated Press


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