Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Outside Spending Tops $800,000 for Election

Most of special interest spending for spring election is for state school superintendent race.

By - Mar 17th, 2021 09:47 am
Cash. (CC0 Creative Commons).

Cash. (CC0 Creative Commons).

Seven special interest groups have spent more than $800,000 as of Monday morning on outside electioneering activities in the state school superintendent race and in two special legislative elections.

The regular spring and special elections are three weeks away, on April 6.

In the so-called “nonpartisan” race for state school superintendent, Pecatonica Area School Superintendent Jill Underly faces Deborah Kerr, a retired Brown Deer schools superintendent.

A Better Wisconsin Together and the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), two groups which back Democrats in partisan legislative and statewide elections, have dropped $481,165 to support Underly or oppose Kerr.

American Federation for Children, a pro-school voucher group that generally supports Republicans in regular state elections, has spent $56,500 to oppose Underly.

In a special election for south-central Wisconsin’s 13th Senate District, Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown, faces Democrat Melissa Winker and independent candidates Spencer Zimmerman and Ben Schmitz.

Two groups, the rightwing Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity and the Republican State Leadership Committee, have spent $127,051 to support Jagler.

In northeastern Wisconsin’s 89th Assembly District special election, Republican Elijah Behnke won a five-way GOP primary last month to face Democrat Karl Jaeger on the April ballot. There has been no outside spending directly for or against Behnke or Jaeger to date.

But earlier, two groups, the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsinites for Liberty Fund, dumped $170,000 to support or oppose two GOP candidates defeated by Behnke in the February primary.

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