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GOP business owner Michels running for Wisconsin governor; filed paperwork Friday

Also on Friday, Democratic Party of Dane County's chairwoman announced run for secretary of state

The Wisconsin State Capital view from State Street in Madison
The Wisconsin State Capitol view from State Street in Madison. Steven Potter/WPR

Republican business owner Tim Michels is entering the Republican primary for Wisconsin governor. Michels comes late to an increasingly crowded field but has the personal wealth to back his campaign.

Michels filed paperwork Friday to run.

He joins former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, former U.S. Marine Kevin Nicholson and state Rep. Tim Ramthun in the race to be decided Aug. 9. The winner will advance to face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

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The 59-year-old Michels is co-owner of Michels Corporation. It’s a family-owned international energy and infrastructure construction business.

His decision comes just days after former Gov. Tommy Thompson said he would not run.

Additionally, on Friday, the Democratic Party of Dane County’s chairwoman announced she officially is running for secretary of state.

Alexia Sabor will run against incumbent Doug La Follette in a Democratic primary on Aug. 9. Sabor said in a statement that she wants to protect fair elections.

The four Republicans vying for the post have said they want to shift oversight of elections from the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission to the secretary of state’s office.

Sabor has worked as a project manager at website developer Earthling Interactive in Madison for 15 years.

She holds a doctorate in forest ecology and management. La Follette has held the secretary of state office since 1982.