Trump to campaign for Michels in Waukesha before primary

Announcement comes as Sen. Ted Cruz says he will back Kleefisch

Tim Michels gestures as he speaks to supporters outside on a campaign tour.
Republican candidate for governor Tim Michels makes a campaign stop to speak to potential voters Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Oconto, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Former President Donald Trump will be in Wisconsin four days before the primary election campaigning for Tim Michels, his pick in the Republican gubernatorial race.

The former president’s organization on Tuesday announced the “Save America Rally” in Waukesha on Aug. 5, saying he would be delivering remarks in support of Michels “and the entire Wisconsin Trump Ticket.”

Trump had announced in June that he was endorsing businessman Michels in the Aug. 9 primary. Michels is competing in the primary against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state Rep. Tim Ramthun. The winner of the primary will take on incumbent Gov. Tony Evers in November.

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That endorsement appeared to give Michels a boost. While Kleefisch had been the clear frontrunner in the race, a Marquette University Law School poll that came out later in June showed her lead had disappeared and she and Michels were essentially tied among Republican voters.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming President Trump back to Wisconsin, and I’m honored to have his support in this election,” Michels stated Tuesday.

Kleefisch still has the support of many establishment Republicans in Wisconsin, including former Gov. Scott Walker. She also gained the support Tuesday of Texas Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who typically has been a supporter of Trump.

On Tuesday, Cruz tweeted about his endorsement, saying “Rebecca will fight for a stronger economy, school choice so parents are back in charge of their kids’ education, and she will work to protect life” and the Second Amendment.

Trump will make his appearance for Michels at the Waukesha County Fairgrounds on Aug. 5. He has been campaigning around the country for Republican candidates, with many hopefuls courting his endorsement. Both Michels and Kleefisch had traveled to his Mar-a-Lago estate to meet him before he announced his pick.

The former president was already slated to come to Milwaukee on Aug. 20 as part of what organizers are calling the America Freedom Tour. That event will feature other speakers, including Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and his son’s fiancée, former Fox News commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle. Tickets for that event cost as much as $1,995, according to the event website.