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HomeBreaking NewsReport: Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Price Tag Now Over $20 million

Report: Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Price Tag Now Over $20 million


The record-breaking spending in Wisconsin’s race for Supreme Court is not ending.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign on Monday released a report that shows the price tag for the race between Judge Janet Protasiewicz and former Justice Dan Kelly is now over $20 million.

“About 30 outside electioneering groups have spent $18.1 million on reported independent expenditures and secret phony issue ads in the race, more than three-and-a-half times the previous record,” the Democracy Campaign said in its report. “Groups backing Kelly or opposing Protasiewicz have doled out $9.9 million. Groups backing Protasiewicz or opposing Kelly have spent $5.7 million.”

That’s just the spending from outside groups.

The Democracy Campaign says the candidates themselves have spent millions of dollars as well.

“The most recent reports filed by the candidates showed they spent a total of $2.12 million since they entered the race last year, through Feb. 6th,,” the report noted. “Spending was led by Protasiewicz who has doled out $1.37 million, which is nearly six times the $237,719 spent by Kelly.”

The $20 million price tag for the race smashes Wisconsin’s previous most-expensive Supreme Court race ever. That was the 2020 race which cost $10 million.

The $20 million is also more than the previous most expensive judicial race in the country, which was a $15 million race in Illinois back in 2004.

And the spending isn’t done.

Election Day is two weeks away, on April 4th. The Democracy Campaign says we’ll get another spending update before then.

“The next batch of fundraising and spending reports by the candidates are due March 27th and will likely show several million dollars more in candidate spending,” the Campaign added. “Other news outlets, such as WisPolitics, have reported higher figures than the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Our numbers are based only on figures already reported to the state by candidates and independent expenditure groups or that we could estimate from so-called ‘issue advocacy’ groups.”

Ben Yount - The Center Square
The Center Square contributor

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