Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Liberals Have 13 to 1 Edge In Superintendent Race

Groups supporting Underly bury the one group backing Kerr in total campaign donations.

By - Mar 22nd, 2021 07:17 pm
Deborah Kerr and Jill Underly.

Deborah Kerr and Jill Underly.

Liberal groups are winning the money race in the so-called “nonpartisan” state school superintendent race, where Pecatonica Area School Superintendent Jill Underly faces Deborah Kerr, a retired Brown Deer schools superintendent.

Three groups that generally back Democratic candidates in partisan elections – A Better Wisconsin TogetherWisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin – have doled out $766,425 to support Underly or oppose Kerr.

American Federation for Children, a pro-voucher outfit founded by Betsy DeVos that generally backs Republicans, has spent $56,500 to oppose Underly.

That’s a 13 to 1 advantage for the liberal groups backing Underly.

Two weeks out from the April 6 spring elections, eight special interest groups have topped $1 million combined in outside election spending on the state school superintendent race and two special legislative elections.

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 about $156,300 to support Jagler.

In northeastern Wisconsin’s 89th Assembly District special election, Republican Elijah Behnke faces Democrat Karl Jaeger on the April ballot. There has been no outside spending directly for or against Behnke or Jaeger to date.

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

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