Tim Michels wins Republican primary for Wisconsin governor, TMJ4 projects

Tim Michels
Posted at 10:37 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 13:33:17-04

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin businessman Tim Michels has defeated Republican rival Rebecca Kleefisch in the primary and will now face off against incumbent Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in the general election in November, TMJ4 News projects.

WATCH: Kleefisch conceded the race moments before.

Rebecca Kleefisch concedes Republican primary for Wisconsin governor

>> Get live election results here

“Thanks to you, we took on the Madison Establishment and won. Tonight we celebrate, but then, first thing tomorrow, let’s get to work," Michels' campaign said in a statement.

WATCH: Michels gave his acceptance speech Tuesday evening.

Tim Michels acceptance speech

“I say to the hard-working people of Wisconsin, the people who get up at 5 a.m., take their kids to school, work hard all day, wanna coach their kids' baseball team the people that feel like the Democratic party has left them for social issues, you are now gonna have a governor that's gonna stand up for the hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding people of Wisconsin," Michels said.

WATCH: Michels said Gov. Tony Evers failed the people of Wisconsin during his acceptance speech.

Tim Michels says Tony Evers failed the people of Wisconsin

Michels, who ran as an anti-establishment outsider, won the backing of former President Donald Trump and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Trump has hung heavy over the Republican primary race for governor. He endorsed Michels, who co-owns the energy and infrastructure construction company Michels Corporation, passing over Kleefisch who served eight years as lieutenant governor under Scott Walker. She scored an endorsement from former Vice President Mike Pence.

Michels lost to Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in 2004. Since then, he has focused on his family’s construction business while also serving in leadership roles for various high-powered organizations, including Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and the Transportation Development Association.

Michels, a U.S. Army veteran, vowed to run an “aggressive” campaign and indicated he would largely self-fund, saying he would not accept donations from political action committees, lobbyists or more than $500 from any individual.

A Republican governor would be able to enact a broad conservative agenda with the help of the GOP-led Legislature. Evers has made his ability to block the Republican agenda a cornerstone of his reelection campaign.

The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Head to the state's election page for voting details.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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