“We are going to put his failures on trial in November at the ballot box,” – Eric Toney, speaking of Democratic AG Josh Kaul.
District Attorney Eric Toney, the Republican nominee for state Attorney General, said Tuesday night that Democratic AG Josh Kaul “turned his back on law enforcement when they had their backs against the wall.”
Toney, the Fond du Lac County DA and president-elect of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, said Kaul has mismanaged the state crime lab. The ideologically-focused Kaul has also defunded prosecutors and state law enforcement agents at a time of historic violence, Toney said. [See Wisconsin Right Now’s previous investigation into Kaul’s crime lab failures.]
“That is a record of failure during historic violence. We are going to put his failures on trial in November at the ballot box,” Toney said, in his victory speech in Fond Du Lac.
Toney’s campaign team noted that a liberal news outlet recently dubbed Toney “the hammer.”
Watch Toney’s victory speech here:
Toney narrowly defeated former legislator Adam Jarchow in a three-way race. Attorney Karen Mueller had a strong showing; she has emphasized a decertification and vaccine death platform.
Toney was outspent by $1 million in the Republican primary, but, through hard-work and a strong resume, he managed to bring home his base in the Fox Valley, run close in southeastern Wisconsin (where Jarchow was strong) and perform strongly throughout many areas of the state.
Jarchow wrote on social media, “In a close and highly contested race, we came up just short. It’s time to unite behind Eric Toney and ensure he has the resources and support needed to fire Josh Kaul. Eric Toney has my full support. I want to thank our team of volunteers and dedicated supporters across Wisconsin.”
The final vote totals were:
As Attorney General, Toney promised to restore the law enforcement mission of DOJ to help combat skyrocketing crime.
“Law enforcement has earned the right to have an attorney general who will stand and support them,” he said.
Toney also said that he would enforce the rule of law, not “pick and choose” like Kaul.
Brad Courtney, former state Republican Party Chairman, declared, “It’s an exciting night. Josh Kaul’s 91-day nightmare has just begun. We have a wonderful candidate who is going to represent the Republican Party. He is going to be law enforcement’s choice.”
Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt said, “That is why he (Toney) is law enforcement’s choice. Hitting the ground as hard as he has. Long hours, hard work, putting criminal behind bars; that’s what we need back in the Attorney General’s office.”
Toney said he had a “very nice phone call with Adam Jarchow where he conceded the race and offered his support and endorsement.” Toney thanked Jarchow, Karen Mueller, and former candidate Ryan Owens. “They made me a better candidate in this race,” he said.
He also thanked “our grassroots across Wisconsin that helped get us across this finish line in the pirmary…I also want to thank our law enforcement; they have been with me from day one. Our sheriffs, our police chiefs, and our district attorneys from across Wisconsin, who know we need a change in the Department of Justice from Josh Kaul’s failed leadership.”
He said Kaul “defunded prosecutors, defunded (Division of Criminal Investigation) agents, leaving positions unfilled as we see historic violence in parts of Wisconsin and unprecedented drug deaths, with Milwaukee on pace for its third straight murder record… it is unconscionable that our Attorney General has left these key public safety positions unfilled.”
Toney accused Kaul of having “mismanaged our crime lab during this violence, taking in less items to test, and taking longer to test most items, including DNA.”
Toney noted that he was in the middle of a murder trial and had to get up early to prosecute the case. “I am still fighting for justice for victims in our courtroom,” he said.
He added that was looking forward “to earning the support of those who have have supported other candidates.”
Toney said he got into the race because of Josh Kaul’s inaction as Kenosha burned following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The officer was later cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
“We all saw Tony Evers condemn and convict a police officer, and he did it without the facts, and then I watched as our attorney general said nothing that night,” Toney said.
“Josh Kaul should have said, ‘What the governor just told you is not true; there are more facts… Instead, he did nothing that night. He effectively turned his back on law enforcement when they had their backs against the wall.”
Toney added, growing emotional, “That’s personal to me; my dad spent over 30 years as a police officer. I know what it’s like to worry about his safety. I know what it’s like to not know if my dad is alive.”
He noted that the Department of Justice had 88 of 113 DCI positions filled earlier this year. “Josh Kaul made a choice, a decision not to fill those positions, when we’ve had historic violence,” Toney said.