Campaigns, audience react to GOP governor's primary debate

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jul 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 08:49:46-04

There's only so much time for follow-up questions during a debate. So, we asked a few more in the spin room following the debate. We also heard from a few of the audience members.

Former Lieutenant Rebecca Kleefisch attacked Milwaukee County District John Chisholm on bail and sentence reform. We followed up with her Scott Neitzl, her campaign chair, to ask how she plans to address a greater number of prisoners if she fires Chisholm and pushes through higher bail and tougher sentences.

"As we reform bail and sentencing, then we look at taking the youth prison up in northern Wisconsin, and convert that to an adult prison. So yes, she does have a plan to make sure there are more beds," said Neitzl.

Businessman Tim Michels, when asked about school funding for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), didn't have an answer on stage.

"It's clear he was caught off guard and couldn't hear," said Michels campaign manager Patrick McNulty. "He believes we should not be giving free tuition to DACA students. It's in an ad."

State Representative Timothy Ramthun, who's trailing Kleefisch and Michels in the polls, maintained his position that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

We asked him if he had a defining moment that would help elevate his campaign.

“I thought my closing statement was very strong. It's very accurate," said Ramthun. "And I thought a point previous [also strong] was on election integrity.”

Some members of the audience came in with a candidate and left with a candidate.

"I think his closing statement was great, it was fun to listen to," said Harry Wait, a Ramthun supporter.

Others told us they're going to need more time.

"I was fluctuating between two of 'em, but I won't tell you which two. And I am still a little bit," said Ardis Cerny.

“I was probably neutral coming in. I like all three by the way. I don’t think you could go wrong. But I'm probably leaning toward Rebecca Kleefisch."

If you're still on the fence, you can watch a recording of TMJ4's debate here:

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