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Wisconsin Supreme Court Spending Continues, Pro-Kelly Group Places First Ad

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The price for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court race continues to get more expensive.

Ad Impact, a group that tracks ad buys in political races across the country, on Monday said a pro-Dan Kelly group purchased its first set of ads for the April election.

“Fair Courts America just placed their first reservations in the Wisconsin Supreme Court general. So far we’ve seen $180,000 placed. In the primary, they placed $2.9 million supporting conservative candidate Daniel Kelly,” Ad Impact said on Twitter.

The buys from Fair Courts America come after and are dwarfed by, an ad blitz from liberal candidate Janet Protasiewicz and the groups that are supporting her.

On Thursday, Ad Impact reported another million-dollar buy from Protasiewicz’s campaign.

“Janet Protasiewicz has expanded her advertising reservations ahead of the WI Supreme Court general election. She has placed $1.4 million in ads today, bringing her general election total to $1.5 million,” Ad Impact reported.

That’s on top of another half-million dollars in ad support from A Better Wisconsin Together, a pro-Protasiewicz group.

So far, a number of reports have the price tag for the Protasiewicz-Kelly race at $9 million for the primary alone.

The next month or so will certainly see more spending.

That’s still short of the most expensive Supreme Court race ever, the 2004 race for a seat on Illinois’ Supreme Court.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler said on Milwaukee TV over the weekend that the state party is also now spending on the race as well.

“We are also providing financial support to the Protasiewicz campaign, a fundraising partnership to ensure that she has the resources to fight back against the kind of attack ads that are already on the air,” Wikler said on UPFRONT. “We really can leave no stone unturned because the stakes for the freedom to control your own body, the freedom to live in a Democracy are so vast.”

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brian Schimming said a lot of the millions of dollars coming in for Protasiewicz is from outside of Wisconsin. “This has turned into kind of a national race, literally talking about it all over the country,” Schimming said on UPFRONT. “I suspect both sides will see a fair amount of funding come in from around the country because it’s not just about one Supreme Court seat. It’s about the majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and it will be Janet Protasiewicz’s attempt to turn back 25 years of reform in this state, including on school choice, Act 10, concealed carry, voter ID.”

Voters will decide between the two in April.

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