A closer look at the lieutenant governor race in Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Capitol
Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 10:31:34-04

MILWAUKEE — The state primary election is three weeks from Tuesday. One of the races on the ballot is for lieutenant governor. Ten candidates are in the running for the position.

"Even though you've got the governor running for re-election, you don't have his Lt. Governor Barnes running for re-election," said UWM Professor Mordecai Lee.

TMJ4 News talked to Lee about the position.

"The whole idea of vice-president and lieutenant governor is that if God forbid something happens to a president or governor that there is somebody there who can step in just like that," he said.

Lee said as a line of succession, the position is important, but their day-to-day duties are up to the governor.

"If a lieutenant governor doesn't have any specific duties then they often tour the state, they do press conferences, they do visits, try to be supportive of the governor," Lee stated.

Of the 10 candidates in this election, eight are men and two are women. Most are white, with three African Americans and one who is Hmong. More than half have never held political office.

Lee said what makes the race interesting is that Wisconsin is one of more than a dozen states in which the governor does not get to choose their running mate.

"You don't want luck to be the reason things work out," Lee pointed out.

As it stands now, the top Republican vote-getters for lieutenant governor and the governor will be on the same ticket in November. While the top Democratic vote-getter for lieutenant governor will join Tony Evers on the November ticket.

TMJ4 News is hosting two political debates in July ahead of the upcoming August primary election in Wisconsin.

The Senate Democratic primary debate took place Sunday, July 17, at 6 p.m. at Marquette’s Varsity Theatre.

The Governor Republican primary debate will take place Sunday, July 24, at 6 p.m. at Marquette’s Varsity Theatre.

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