MADISON — Republican Rebecca Kleefisch, who spent eight years as lieutenant governor under Scott Walker, has launched her campaign for governor.
Kleefisch contrasts herself with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in her campaign launch video, casting him as weak and her as ready to back police and fight special interests.
The 46-year-old Kleefisch becomes the best-known Republican to officially get into the race against Evers.
In front of a crowd at Western States Envelope Company in Butler Wisconsin, Kleefisch promised she will bring back strong leadership to the state of Wisconsin.
When Kleefisch served as Lt. Governor for Governor Scott Walker, she was diagnosed with and battled colon cancer.
"They literally cut out half my guts. Even with half of my gut I still have two times as much guts as Tony Evers," Kleefisch said.
She said she feels that way for many reasons including her belief that Gov. Evers didn't respond fast enough to protesters in Kenosha following the Jacob Blake shooting.
"We need to stop all this garbage talk about defunding the police. We need to get serious about violent crime," she said.
She also said she stands firm behind the government not telling people what healthcare choices to make.
"I am running because we need to empower parents and kids with educational choice," Kleefisch said. "We need to have safe streets and we need to have schools with some type of educational standards, and we need good paying jobs."
Kleefisch also added she will fight for stronger leadership, and what she calls better days.
"He may shut down our schools, he may shut down our economy, he may shut down our churches, but today we begin to shut down Tony Evers," Kleefisch said.
The race is a top priority for Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature but have been blocked by Evers.
If there's a Republican governor, Democrats would not have the votes to stop the GOP agenda heading into the 2024 presidential election in the battleground state.