In this update:

  • New UW-Madison Chancellor Announced
  • U.S. Senate Election
  • Gubernatorial Election
  • State Legislative Elections

New UW-Madison Chancellor Announced

UCLA Law Dean Jennifer Mnookin announced as new UW-Madison chancellor

Jennifer Mnookin, the dean of the University of California- Los Angeles law school was unanimously voted the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Mnookin was at UCLA for 17 years and spent the previous six years at the University of Virginia School of Law. She is also an attorney, which she also credits for her leadership skills. In a statement, Mnookin touted her experiences as a lawyer, saying how they have prepared her for this new role. “Lawyers have to listen carefully. They have to think strategically. They are, fundamentally, trained as problem solvers, and sometimes have to persuade people that don’t necessarily see the world the way they do. They also have to be willing to engage across differences and think seriously about alternative points of view. I do think those are qualities that I will bring to this role as chancellor.”

Mnookin will replace existing UW-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank, who is leaving to become president of Northwestern University. Several leading state Republicans were upset with the new pick, citing Mnookin’s support for COVID-19 vaccine mandates, thoughts on Critical Race Theory, and her past campaign donations of about $5,500 to Democratic causes. Reactions to the decision can be found below:

Governor Tony Evers: “Congratulations, @jmnookin, on becoming a Badger and the next chancellor of @UWMadison. I look forward to working together to support our flagship campus and our entire UW System and welcoming you and your family to the Badger State. #OnWisconsin” (via Twitter).

University of Wisconsin Board of Regents: “I am excited to welcome Jennifer Mnookin to the UW-Madison campus,” said Regent President Edmund Manydeeds III. “Her energy is infectious, and her knowledge of Wisconsin and the Madison campus community is impressive. She is ready to be a Badger. Incoming Chancellor Mnookin is a dynamic leader, and I look forward to working with her.”

State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos: “In doing a simple search, you quickly find she wholeheartedly supports critical race theory being taught on campus, is in favor of widespread vaccine mandates, and also met with Hunter Biden in 2019 to entertain a proposal that he join the UCLA faculty to teach drug policy… Dr. Mnookin needs to prove she supports free speech on campus and not politically correct ideologies. After all the work of Tommy Thompson and Rebecca Blank that attempted to strengthen relationships between the university and the Legislature, this is a step backwards. I strongly hope the Board of Regents will reconsider their selection.”

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Rebecca Kleefisch: “Decisions like this from the Board of Regents make Wisconsin moms and dads consider sending their kids out of state where they can get an honest education. This ridiculous mindset demonstrates why we need to drain the Madison swamp — to get away from this crazy groupthink.”

U.S. Senate Election

Issue advocacy organization One Nation releases ad supporting Ron Johnson

The group that supports GOP U.S. Senate candidates, announced a new $6 million ad campaign, including a spot that praises Sen. Ron Johnson. The group says that this is the first piece of an eight-week ad buy across broadcast TV, cable, radio, and digital.

Watch the full ad here: ON: “Threaten” 30s – WI – YouTube

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes releases first ad of campaign

The Barnes campaign announced this week the first ad of the Lt. Governor’s bid for U.S. Senate. The campaign said it’s the first spot in a “multi-million dollar ad campaign” which will air in Milwaukee on broadcast TV, cable and digital before expanding as the primary continues. In the ad, Barnes touts his “blue collar roots” and states that most senators don’t know how much a gallon of milk costs or that the price of beef has gone up.

Alex Lasry releases new ad on healthcare accessibility

Tuesday, U.S. Senate candidate Alex Lasry released a new ad in which he touted that he would support healthcare accessibility, universal paid family leave for Wisconsinites, and that he will always support a woman’s right to choose. The ad also featured Lasry’s wife, Lauren, who is chief of staff for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Gubernatorial Election

New poll suggests tightening GOP gubernatorial primary

Monday, a new poll was released which shows a tight race in the Republican primary for governor. The poll commissioned by the nonprofit group, Milwaukee Works, shows that recent entry to the field Tim Michels has a slight lead over former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. The group’s polling was conducted by democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling. The group’s polling ahead of the Milwaukee mayoral primary accurately predicted the finalists as Mayor Cavalier Johnson, who led in the January poll, followed by former Alderman Bob Donovan, who lost to Johnson in the general election last month.

In the poll, 27% of respondents said that if the primary were held now, they were most likely to vote for Michels. 26% of respondents said that if the primary were held now, they were most likely to vote for Kleefisch. 9% said they would back former Marine and No Better Friend founder Kevin Nicholson, and 6% favored state Representative Timothy Ramthun.

Republican candidates for governor release plans on police and bail reform

GOP candidates for governor called for a crack down on gun violence and for police and bail reform this week, following a shootings over the weekend near the Milwaukee Buck’s crowded Deer District. The trio of shootings occurred Friday bear the Deer District after nearly 11,000 gathered to watch Game 6 of the playoff series. Seventeen people were injured in one incident alone.

Michels released his “Back the Blue-print” in which he stated that he will fire Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, hire more prosecutors, increase penalties for felons caught with guns, build a more modern prison, and create a RICO-like provision to investigate and prosecute riot organizers.

Kleefisch held a press conference outside of the Fiserv Forum in which she touted her previously released plans wich include firing Milwaukee DA Chisholm, hiring 1,000 cops around the state, and tapping the State Patrol to help local law enforcement. “We need Milwaukee to be a safe place for families, the Deer District to be a destination and not the Fear District anymore,” Kleefisch said.

Tony Evers releases new ad on bi-partisan record as governor

On Tuesday, Tony Evers released a new ad in his re-election campaign for his second term as governor. In the ad, Evers states that he “doesn’t care if an idea is a republican idea or a democrat idea,” he only cares if it is a “good idea.” Evers then goes on to tout his bi-partisan successes as Governor, including the income tax cut passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature in 2021.

Former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch releases two new ads 

Beginning Tuesday, Rebecca Kleefisch’s campaign for governor began airing two new ads on TV and digital media markets statewide. Both ads focus on the soaring prices and protecting Wisconsin families. In the first ad, Kleefisch touts her record as a “conservative fighter.” In the second ad, Kleefisch and her family are pictured at the grocery store where she describes how Wisconsinites are feeling the pain of a “Biden economy.

State Legislature Elections

Recent Candidate Announcements

*Bold indicates an announcement within the past week

State Senate

  • Tom Palzewicz (D) – 5th – OPEN, previously Dale Kooyenga (R)
  • Rob Hutton (R) – 5th – OPEN, previously Dale Kooyenga (R)
  • Andrew Thomsen (R) – 19th – OPEN, previously Roger Roth (R)

State Assembly

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