Analysis: Wisconsin Among the Top Governor’s Races to Watch This Year

Democrats four years ago rode a blue wave to governors’ mansions across the country, flipping Republican-held seats in the Midwest, Northeast and West alike.

Now, however, many of those governors face Republican challengers amid a political environment that looks potentially promising for the GOP, meaning that contentious races may lie ahead in some of the nation’s most pivotal battleground states. Republicans have already had two strong showings in states that lean Democratic, flipping the governor’s seat in Virginia and coming surprisingly close in New Jersey, a state that voted for President Joe Biden by 16 points in 2020.

Governors in less competitive states are also facing primary challengers from the left and right, making for multiple bitter, closely-followed primaries between candidates from different wings of the same party.

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Trump Confidant Kerik Surrenders Memos to January 6 Panel, Vows to ‘Eviscerate’ Democrat Narrative

Then-President Donald Trump’s team assembled a 10-day pressure campaign in December 2020 hoping to shame governors and state legislators into officially investigating allegations of Election 2020 irregularities, according to memos newly turned over to Congress by former New York Police Commissioner and Trump confidant Bernard Kerik.

The strategy called for “protests” at governors’ mansions and the homes of politicians ranging from secretaries of states to “weak” congressional members in key battleground states, the memos show.

The documents, turned over Friday night under subpoena to the House’s Jan. 6 commission, are remarkable in part because they show the primary focus of the Trump team leading up to the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 vote – an event that turned violent when pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol – was to get “support for hearings” to probe allegations of voting irregularities Trump’s team had received but not vetted.

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Wisconsin District Admits at Least One Student ‘Accessed Inappropriate Content’ on School-Issued iPad

A Wisconsin school district walked back its original claim, admitting that one student did access “inappropriate content,” according to a statement from the district provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Following a report in November of a misconfiguration of Securly on our KG-1st grade iPads when used at home, the District has concluded its investigation that revealed only one device out of 1,200 iPads accessed inappropriate content,” according to an email from Elmbrook Public Relations that was sent to families and staff Wednesday. “We appreciate the parent who brought this to our attention and our technology team’s fast response to resolve the problem before it became a bigger concern.”

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Commentary: An Overview of the 2022 Election Cycle

"VOTE ONE MORE TIME" sign on an electric pole in Atlanta, Georgia

It is now less than a year to the 2022 elections, with this, more stories about the midterms are developing. Below are the latest updates.

State

In California, Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin will face a recall. Conservatives have tapped into anger over his decisions not to prosecute certain cases. Meanwhile, CA Governor Gavin Newsom is facing controversy over his lack of public appearances.

In Wisconsin, Republicans are continuing their 2020 election audit, even amidst criticism that the audit is too partisan and unruly. Republican Senator Ron Johnson is set to decide in the next few weeks over whether he will seek re-election

In New Jersey, Powerful Democratic State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has conceded in his race for re-election. Sweeney’s race caused national headlines because it was so shocking.

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Democratic Kingmaker Clyburn to Endorse Top Party Challenger for Wisconsin GOP Johnson’s Senate Seat

South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn has reportedly given his all-important endorsement to a party candidate running for the seat of Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson.

Clyburn will endorse Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Gendorse Mandela Barnes, according to the Daily Beast.

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Poll: Wisconsin Gov. Evers, Sen. Johnson Underwater with Likely Voters

The latest Marquette Law School Poll says both Gov. Tony Evers and Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson would lose their elections if voters went to the polls today.

The poll released Wednesday shows Johnson, who has had low approval ratings for years, remains in the polling doldrums.

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University of Wisconsin System to Require Vaccines to Meet Federal Contractor Rules

The University of Wisconsin System doesn’t want to lose its federal grant money, so everyone who works there is going to have to get vaccinated.

UW President Tommy Thompson on Wednesday said the school will comply with President Biden’s mandate that all federal contractors require their employees to be vaccinated.

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Wisconsin Republicans Release New Political Map, Look to Retain Majorities

Wisconsin’s new political map doesn’t look much different from the current map.

Republicans released their iteration of the Wisconsin districting map Wednesday. The new map maintains Republican majorities in both the State Assembly and the State Senate. It would also give Republicans an advantage in most of the state’s congressional districts.

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Commentary: The First Step to Rightsizing Education Spending Is Reforming Teacher Pensions

In the past year, Congress has rushed more than $204 billion in federal emergency funds to states to support K-12 schools. 

But 23 states had fewer incoming students this fall. This declining enrollment is likely in part due to pandemic-related trends but is also a symptom of changing birth rates and families geographically relocating.

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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Sponsors Bill That Would Ban Vaccine Mandates

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson unveiled new legislation Wednesday that would block federal vaccine mandates by utilizing the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Johnson was joined by some of his colleagues from the House and Senate who wish to co-sponsor the bill.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court to Take Redistricting Case

Wisconsin Supreme Court

There could be two different court-drawn political maps in Wisconsin. The state’s Supreme Court late Wednesday agreed to take up a redistricting case that could result in the court drawing the state’s new boundaries for Congress and the state legislature.

The decision comes just one day after a federal court in Madison essentially said it would draw the new political map if lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers can’t agree.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Look at Opt-out Option for Parents on Gender and Sex Classes

Girl student standing and holding books in hand in a classroom

Wisconsin lawmakers are wrestling with the question of who should talk to their kids about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Assembly Committee on Education on Thursday held a marathon hearing on a plan that would allow parents to opt their kids out of classes on both.

“This is merely just a way to give parents a choice,” Rep Bob Whitke, R-Racine, said. “Because there are a lot of concepts now that are coming out in school … it’s being done in a way that parents don’t understand, and parents aren’t notified.

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Wisconsin Representative Gallagher Introduces Bill Limiting Gain-of-Function Research

Wisconsin Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) introduced a bill that would limit gain-of-function research for five years by pausing taxpayer funding. Rep. Mike Gallagher, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) introduced bipartisan legislation that would “put a five-year freeze on taxpayer funding for gain-of-function research.”

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Hudson School District in Wisconsin Incentivizing Teachers to Get COVID Vaccine

According to an internal email, the Hudson school district is incentivizing teachers to get vaccinated. The email, shared by local medical freedom activist Jessica Klatt, outlines how those who get vaccinated will automatically receive five sick days to use if they contract a breakthrough infection or need to quarantine.

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U.S. Officials Confirm Six Measles Cases Among Afghan Refugees in Virginia, Wisconsin

Six Afghan refugees in Virginia and Wisconsin have tested positive for the measles, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

The cases were reported among Afghan refugees who were evacuated to the U.S. after the Taliban took over Kabul, according to the AP. The cases were reported four days after flights bringing Afghans to the U.S. were suspended because some of the refugees had measles, the AP reported.

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Wisconsin Representative Fitzgerald Signs Letter Opposing IRS Oversight of Withdrawals and Deposits over $600

Wisconsin Representative Scott Fitzgerald (R-05-WI) signed a letter opposing suggested Internal Revenue Service (IRS) oversight of withdrawals and deposits of over $600. The letter was written by Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer (R-06-MN).

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Wisconsin Warns Against Fake COVID Vaccine Cards

The state of Wisconsin is warning against fake coronavirus vaccine cards.

The state’s Department of Health Services enlisted the help of the U.S. Attorney in Madison last week to warn people about the consequences of buying or making a fake vaccine card.

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Wisconsin Republicans Pitch Online Anti-Censorship Legislation

A pair of Republican lawmakers in Madison are wading into the debate over online free speech.

Rep. Shae Sortwell, R-Gibson, and Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton, on Wednesday introduced three pieces of legislation they say will protect people’s free speech right on social media.

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