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Two-year anniversary of civil unrest erupting in Kenosha influences Wisconsin governor's race

The days of unrest left dozens of buildings destroyed and many more were left with millions of dollars in damages.
Jacob Blake: Buildings set ablaze amid protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Posted at 10:07 AM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 11:07:01-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — It looks a lot different now, but just two years ago parts of Kenosha looked like a warzone after the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer sparked nights of civil unrest.

Now with the November election a little less than three months away, the candidates for governor are using the event on the campaign trail.

"They graffitied my business and bashed my front door. I was one of the lucky ones. Others had their life's work reduced to ashes and Governor Evers was nowhere to be found," said one woman in a political ad by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Issues Mobilization Council.

"Evers mobilized law enforcement the first night of the Kenosha protests. He ordered up the National Guard within 11 hours and added hundreds more boots on the ground every night," said another ad paid for by Tony for Wisconsin.

Two political ads. Both with different messages surrounding one event. The days of unrest left dozens of buildings destroyed and many more were left with millions of dollars in damages.

Two years later, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels toured Kenosha. He spent time talking to community leaders and about his opponent.

"Governor Evers should not have allowed this to happen. By his inaction, he allowed this to happen. There was a lack of leadership," said Michels.

While Michels was in Kenosha, Gov. Tony Evers was in Milwaukee defending the decisions he made two years ago.

"It's a lie. That's the bottom line. It's a lie​. ​I did everything I was asked to do by the leaders in Kenosha. Everything," said Evers.

As both candidates continue to go back and forth, it will be up to voters in Wisconsin to choose the state's next leader on Election Day, which takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Joan Ellis Beglinger is also running as an Independent for Wisconsin governor.