Bruce Murphy

Kaul Announces Run For Reelection

Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul predicts a tough race against Republican challenger.

By - Jul 12th, 2021 11:48 am
Attorney General Josh Kaul. File photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">CC BY-ND 2.0</a>) 

Attorney General Josh Kaul. File photo by Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. (CC BY-ND 2.0

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced he will will run for reelection, as the Associated Press has reported. The Democrat made the announcement on Twitter Saturday and at a small invite-only event at a Madison park.

“I’m proud of my record of protecting public safety, public health, the environment, and our rights,” Kaul tweeted. “And we need to continue to have an AG who will fight for all Wisconsinites, rather than one who caters to special interests.”

Kaul was first elected in 2018 over incumbent Republican Brad Schimel and will be running for his second term. Two Republicans, UW-Madison law professor Ryan Owens and Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney, are also running and will face each other in an August 2022 primary.

Kaul has differed with Republicans on numerous issues: He has advocated for stricter gun laws and universal background checks and has supported redistricting reform and opposed restrictive voting laws. Kaul defended Wisconsin’s 2020 election after the results were challenged by former President Donald Trump.

And while Schimel opposed state lawsuits against Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis, Kaul joined in the multi-state lawsuit, resulting in a 4.3 billion multistate settlement with Purdue Pharma and its owners, with $65 million going to Wisconsin.

Perhaps Kaul’s most most notable accomplishment may have been his work to end the state’s backlog of untested rape kits. It was a problem Schimel repeatedly failed to take on even after the state won federal funding to reduce the backlog.

GOP strategist Brandon Scholz told the Wisconsin State Journal he expects the AG election to be “a close, competitive race” with just a one or two percentage point spread between Kaul and whichever Republican challenger wins the primary. Kaul seemed to agree, warning supporters on Saturday that “this race is not going to be easy.”

The election may get national attention because of Republican efforts to pass restrictive voting rights through state legislation. The liberal group End Citizens United/Let America Vote has announced it will spend $7 million to help elect Democratic secretaries of state and attorneys general in key battleground states. The group has announced it will back Kaul, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon — and will also get involved in races in Florida, Texas, Georgia and Arizona.

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Categories: Politics

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