2 big names, 2 big endorsements in Republican race for Wisconsin governor. What do voters think?

The Republican race for governor has split the Trump-Pence team and the state GOP.
Posted at 7:37 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 15:07:08-04

Two big names - two different endorsements. The Republican race for governor has split the Trump-Pence team and the state GOP.

Former Vice President Mike Pence made his pitch for Rebecca Kleefisch in Pewaukee Wednesday.

Tim Michels will have a rally with former President Donald Trump in Waukesha on Friday night as the Aug. 9 primary closes in.

Joe and Louise Vitale are voting before Election Day in Waukesha after doing their homework on the candidates.

Both are in their early 80s and believe elections matter. But do endorsement matter?

"No," said Joe Vitale. "I'll do my own research and I'll endorse who I'm going to vote for."

But candidates count on endorsements to build momentum, support, and publicity. Kleefisch picked up a high-profile endorsement from Pence at her round table with law enforcement in Pewaukee.

"The people of Wisconsin know that your next governor needs to be a proven conservative who has stood in the pocket for Wisconsin in the past and that is Rebecca Kleefisch," Pence said

Former Governor Scott Walker is also backing Kleefisch and appeared with her Wednesday and in TV ads for his former Lieutenant Governor.

Walker and Pence are very close friends. Walker helped prepare Pence for the vice-presidential debates in 2016 and 2020.

Trump also plays a key role in the primary battle. He's backing Michels and so is former governor Tommy Thompson.

With the election just days away and now a Pence endorsement, Kleefisch is focused on the finish line.

"I am thrilled he is here today," Kleefisch said. "Particularly to listen to our friend's law enforcement."

Joe and Louise Vitale say they keep an eye on the news and who is endorsing whom, but before they vote, they have their own conversation.

"Joe and I talk a lot about voting," said Louise. "We go with our judgment, our conscience, and who we really believe is going to do a good job."

The winner of the primary will advance to the general election which includes Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, in what is expected to be one of the most hotly contested governor's races in the country this year.

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