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On the record with GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels: An NBC 26 exclusive interview

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 23:30:06-04

KAUKAUNA, Wis. (NBC 26) — Longtime construction businessman Tim Michels faces three other opponents for the Republican gubernatorial bid. He says he plans to 'turn Madison upside down.'

On Wednesday, we asked him what that means.

"I'm not looking for a big political career, and that's the big difference between me and everybody else in this race," Michels said.

Just last week, Roe v. Wade was overturned and an 1849 Wisconsin law bans nearly all abortions.

"As the law stands, would you uphold it as governor?" NBC 26 asked.

"The law is the law," Michels said. "Of course I will enforce the law. I am pro-life too. It comes from my faith."

Michels was absent from the first GOP debate, where candidates were asked if they would remove officials who disregard the abortion law.

"Would you do the same, fire those who don't uphold the law?" NBC 26 asked.

"Absolutely," Michels said. "When law enforcement arrests the bad guy for breaking the law, they need to suffer the consequences."

Michels has property in Wisconsin, New York and Connecticut. We asked him where he considers home.

"I went there because Michels had a big project," Michels said. "We employ 8,000 people."

"When was the project?" we asked.

"2013 to 2016," he said.

"There's reporting done that you purchased a home there over the past couple years," we asked. "Is that true?"

"That's true," Michels said. "That's been accurately reported. I'm not gonna apologize for my success."

We asked Michels how he views former President Trump, as the Jan. 6 hearings have continued.

"I haven't heard once anybody talk about the Jan. 6 thing," Michels said. "There's so many problems in Wisconsin that we need to solve. ... I'm honored to have the endorsement of President Trump. Former President of the United States calls me up and he says 'I think you're the guy. You're the winner. You're the businessman.'"

If he's elected, Michels vows to curb increased crime.

"I know the hardship that our law enforcement goes through," he said. "I'm gonna back the badge, back the blue and we're gonna make sure that we have rule of law here in the State of wisconsin. .... These catch-and-release DAs that are letting them out on the street next day, I will fire them."

Michels formerly ran for State and U.S. Senate, but lost.