WISCONSIN — 2022 is an important election year in Wisconsin: we have races for Governor, U.S. Senator, State Attorney General and State Secretary of State - not to mention dozens of local races in Southeast Wisconsin and across the state.
Here's a guide to the most important races in Wisconsin in 2022:
Race for Wisconsin's governor in 2022
Incumbent candidate Gov. Tony Evers - Democratic Party
Tony Evers was elected Governor of Wisconsin in 2019 after beating then-incumbent Gov. Scott Walker. Before entering politics, Evers served as the state's superintendent of public schools, whose job it was to lead the state's public school districts. Evers was elected to that non-partisan seat in 2009, 2013 and 2017. Before working as superintendent, Evers worked as the deputy state superintendent as well as a teacher and school principal. Evers was born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin. He went on to work in education in Tomah, Oakfield, Verona and Oshkosh. Evers threw himself into his first election in 1993, when he was defeated by then-state superintendent John Benson. Evers campaign website.
Candidate Tim Michels - Republican Party
Tim Michels is the co-owner with his brothers of the Michels Corporation, the Brownsville, Wisconsin-headquartered construction and energy company. Michels was born in Lomira, Wisconsin. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army for 12 years before joining the family business at Michels Corp. Michels threw himself into the Republican primary race for Wisconsin governor in 2022, winning with 47 percent of the vote. This isn't his first election, though. In 2004, Michels lost to then-incumbent U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold by 10 percentage points. Michels campaign website.
Race for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat in 2022
Incumbent candidate U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson - Republican Party
Ron Johnson was first elected to the U.S. Senate to represent Wisconsin in 2011 after beating Sen. Russ Feingold. He beat Feingold again and won reelection in 2016. Johnson is currently the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and is a member of the committees on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Budget; and Foreign Relations. Johnson was born in Minnesota and grew up near the Twin Cities. He worked as CEO at his brother-in-law's plastic and polyester company in Oshkosh before deciding to run for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seat. Johnson campaign website.
Candidate and current Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes - Democratic Party
Mandela Barnes was elected Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor in 2019 with Gov. Tony Evers. Barnes entered politics in 2013 when he was elected to represent Milwaukee's District 11 in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He decided to not seek re-election in 2017 and instead joined the race for Wisconsin's 4th State Senate district. Barnes lost the race to Lena Taylor but in 2018 joined the race for Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin. Barnes was born and raised in Milwaukee and later worked in social justice groups, Democratic reelection campaigns and the Milwaukee mayor's office, under former Mayor Tom Barrett. Barnes campaign website.
Race for Wisconsin's Attorney General
Incumbent candidate and Attorney General Josh Kaul - Democratic Party
Josh Kaul was elected as state Attorney General in 2018 after defeating incumbent Brad Schimel by less than a percentage point. His victory marked the first time a Democrat held the position in Wisconsin since 2007, when Kaul's mother, Peggy Lautenschlager, left the spot after serving a four-year term. Kaul was raised in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac and later graduated from Yale and Stanford universities. Kaul went on to work for law firms and as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore. In 2014, Kaul moved back to Wisconsin and joined a Madison law firm. Kaul campaign website.
Candidate Eric Toney - Republican Party
Eric Toney was elected Fond du Lac District Attorney in 2012 and won reelection in 2016 and 2020. Before serving in public office, Toney worked as an attorney in private practice. Tony won the Republican primary for Attorney General, winning by less than a percentage point. Tony campaign website.
Race for Wisconsin's Secretary of State
Incumbent candidate Doug La Follette - Democratic Party
Douglas La Follette has served as Wisconsin's Secretary of State since 1983 and is once again running for reelection. Before that, La Follette served as secretary of state from 1975-79 and served in the State Assembly from 1972-74. La Follette grew up in Iowa before being drawn to Madison for his studies. He worked as a research associate at UW-Madison and was known as an environmentalist before running for higher office. Doug La Follette is related to the former Wisconsin Governor, Senator, and Representative, Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette Sr. La Follette campaign website.
Candidate Amy Loudenbeck - Republican Party
Amy Loudenbeck has represented Wisconsin's 31st State Assembly district since 2011. Before entering politics, Loudenbeck worked in a variety of government-related roles in Clinton and Beloit, Wisconsin. She won the Republican primary for Secretary of State by more than 7 percentage points. Loudenbeck campaign website.
Candidate Sharyl McFarland - Green Party
Sharyl McFarland is a political organizer in Milwaukee. According to the Green Party's website, McFarland worked to stop mistreatment at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility. She has also battled voter suppression, racial inequalities, mass incarceration, and other issues.
Candidate Neil Harmon - Libertarian Party
Neil Harmon is a resident of West Allis, Wisconsin. While he has no official campaign website, his Facebook page states he is against taxes and regulations.