by Henry Redman, Wisconsin Examiner
October 3, 2022

With less than 40 days until Election Day, Wisconsin’s governor’s race has become the most expensive gubernatorial campaign in the country.

The two sides have spent $55 million since the August primary. Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers and his Democratic allies have spent $38 million while Republican construction magnate Tim Michels and Republicans have spent $17 million on the race, according to AdImpact, which tracks TV ad spending in elections.

Polls have shown Evers and Michels in a neck-and-neck race, but Evers has been out-fundraising and out-spending his opponent.

Campaign finance records show that between the end of July and the end of August, Evers raised $4.6 million. $1.6 million of that money came from the state Democratic party. During that same time period, Michels raised about $500,000 from donors while loaning $5 million to his campaign.

Entering the final month of the campaign however, Evers has about $5 million more than Michels, who reported having $1.1 million on hand.

Part of his pitch in the Republican primary race was Michels’ ability to self-fund his campaign to keep up with the Democratic fundraising apparatus. He spent nearly $12 million of his own money before the primary.

Before the primary Michels pledged that he wouldn’t be taking large-dollar donations, though after winning the nomination he went back on that pledge and said he’d accept donations of $20,000 — the maximum amount allowed under law.

Both candidates have had 10 people give maximum allowable donations.


Wisconsin Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Wisconsin Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Ruth Conniff for questions: Follow Wisconsin Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

Share this post