(RightWing.org) – Former president Donald Trump is still posing a dilemma for any Republican who wants to run for election. Candidates have a choice to make — do they align themselves with Trump — or reject his legacy? Not all of them are making the right decision.
— National File (@NationalFile) April 6, 2023
On April 4, Wisconsin voters decided whether Daniel Kelly (R) or Janet Protasiewicz (D) would take the vacant seat on the state’s Supreme Court. It was a vital race because the result would decide whether the court had a liberal or conservative majority going forward.
Protasiewicz, a liberal circuit court judge, was heavily bankrolled by left-wing billionaire George Soros. Kelly lagged badly in fundraising — Protasiewicz managed to bring in five times as much cash to fuel her campaign — but he could have boosted his profile by getting an endorsement from our last president — he didn’t want to.
On March 29, with a week to go until the election. Kelly spoke to NBC News about his campaign. Asked if he was going to produce a last-minute endorsement from Trump, Kelly replied, “We’re not looking for one.” When the interviewer pressed him on whether he’d welcome one if Trump backed him anyway, he said he would “have to take a look at it” and decide if it sent a message with which he approved.
When it came down to it, Kelly’s gamble failed. Protasiewicz beat him by a solid 14 points, and now Wisconsin will have a liberal-dominated Supreme Court until another vacancy opens up. Would a Trump endorsement have swung it in Kelly’s favor? That’s hard to say. He ran for the court in 2020, and Trump endorsed him then, but he lost.
On the other hand, Wisconsin is a winnable state for the GOP. At last November’s midterms, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) ran on a pro-Trump, pro-MAGA platform and won. Looking in more detail, Johnson won in many of the same counties where Kelly lost. Johnson won Kenosha County by five points; Kelly lost it by eight. Johnson won Grant County by 13 points; Kelly lost it by three. He might not have done better with Trump’s backing — but Johnson certainly did.
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