Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Karofsky Leads Kelly in Campaign Donations

She’s raised $2.4 million, he’s raised $1.6 million, in race for state Supreme Court.

By - Apr 1st, 2020 01:37 pm
Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky.

Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky.

The two candidates vying for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in next week’s spring elections have raised nearly $4 million combined since they entered the race.

Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky raised about $2.4 million and spent more than $1.7 million between January 2019 when she began fundraising for the race and March 23, 2020.

Karofsky’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed that the state Democratic Party made numerous cash and in-kind contributions to her campaign totaling nearly $1.3 million.

Her opponent, incumbent Justice Dan Kelly, raised nearly $1.6 million and spent nearly $1.2 million between July 2018 when he started fundraising in the race and March 23.

Campaign finance reports filed by the candidates throughout the race have shown Republican contributors back Kelly and traditional Democratic contributors support Karofsky. Races for the state’s high court are officially ‘nonpartisan,’ but one or both candidates in Supreme Court races over the past 15 years have drawn backing from state and local party committees and wealthy partisan contributors.

A preliminary review of Karofsky’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed her largest contributors were:

Democratic Party of Wisconsin, nearly $1.3 million

Garrett and Clay Kirk, of New York City, retired investors, $36,000

Morgan Fowler, of Rhinebeck, NY, retired executive director of Crop Trust, and his wife, Amy, a philanthropist and noted heirloom plant conservationist, $20,000

Wisconsin Education Association Council Region 4 PAC, $19,000

Madison Teachers Inc. PAC, $18,000

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 494 PAC, $18,000

Wisconsin Carpenters PAC, $18,000

Wisconsin Laborers District Council PAC, $18,000

Wisconsin People Conference PAC, $18,000

John W. Miller, of Milwaukee, founder of Arenberg Holdings, $15,000

A preliminary review of Kelly’s latest campaign finance report filed Monday showed his largest contributors were:

Republican Party of Wisconsin, about $65,380

Ruth Schuette, of Wausau, whose family founded and owns Wausau Homes, $20,000

Louis Gentine, of Elkhart Lake, retired owner of Sargento Cheese, $20,000

Wisconsin Realtors Association political action committee (PAC), $18,000

Peter C. Farrow, of Chippewa Falls, chief executive officer of Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire, $10,000

Thea Buholzer, of Monroe, co-owner of Klondike Cheese, $10,000

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