USA TODAY Wisconsin Editorial Board Slams Michels, Endorses Gov. Evers

Nov 02, 2022

USA TODAY Wisconsin Editorial Board Slams Michels, Endorses Gov. Evers

“At times, Michels seems to have only a rudimentary knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of the job he is seeking.”

MADISON, Wis. — Today, USA TODAY’s Wisconsin editorial board endorsed Governor Tony Evers’ re-election campaign. They celebrated Gov. Evers’ accomplishments of providing for public schools, protecting the right to vote, and being a champion for reproductive rights.

USA TODAY’s Wisconsin editorial board highlights Tim Michels’ radical, undetailed plan for Wisconsin and agrees that he is wrong for the state.

USA TODAY Wisconsin: Editorial: Vote for Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes to defend our democracy. Here’s why.

Democracy is on the ballot Nov. 8.

And we believe that means a vote for Democrats Mandela Barnes for U.S. Senate and Tony Evers for governor.

Their Republican opponents, incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson and businessman Tim Michels, continue to cast doubt on the 2020 election, and both have fudged on whether they will accept the outcome of the 2022 vote. A commitment to basic democratic principles is a threshold neither passes, and their willingness to cavalierly ignore longtime norms of democracy is dangerous.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a lifelong Republican who has stood bravely against her party as it bowed to the whims of former President Donald Trump, put it this way in a recent interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd:

“No one of any party should be voting for people who are election deniers. “(Election deniers) are telling you they’ll only certify an election they agree with. … There’s not much graver threat to the democracy than you can imagine than that.”

If the Republican Party is to escape Donald Trump’s cult of personality, it has to begin in elections like these. Normally, the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin editorial board does not recommend candidates in elections, but because of the stakes in this election — and our deep concerns with these candidates — we have decided to do so.


Tony Evers has earned a second term. Tim Michels is a Trump acolyte.

Tim Michels is where he is today because of Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Republican primary in August — an endorsement that required Michels to toe the Trumpian line:

  • After getting Trump’s stamp of approval, Michels at first declined to support a Trump run for president in 2024. But Michels soon fell in line, saying that, of course, he would support a Trump candidacy, even after the former president’s disgraceful incitement of a riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

  • Michels has cast doubt on the 2020 election, saying that “maybe” the election was stolen and refusing to rule out supporting a legislative effort to overturn the election results even though decertifying the election is both illegal and impossible.

  • He has argued that the Wisconsin Elections Commission, created by fellow Republicans while Scott Walker was governor, should be shut down and that all rules the commission set for local clerks to carry out elections should be eliminated.

  • He has refused to say whether he would certify the next presidential election if Trump makes another run and loses again in Wisconsin.

  • He says he wants to fix the “big problems that we had in 2020,” including the use of ballot drop boxes and private funding to help local municipalities conduct elections during a pandemic. He has not explained how drop boxes and private funds made the election fraudulent.

At times, Michels seems to have only a rudimentary knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of the job he is seeking. Working for his family’s highway and pipeline construction business, Michels has spent years away from Wisconsin at homes in Connecticut and New York City.