Wisconsin Primary Election results Aug. 14, 2018

8 Democrats running for governor in Wisconsin

Voters will head to the polls in Wisconsin on Tuesday to vote in the state's Primary Election.

The eight Democrats running for governor in Wisconsin have largely kept their focus on Republican Gov. Scott Walker ahead of Tuesday's primary, while Walker has repeatedly warned his supporters of a possible "blue wave."

Walker, who is seeking his third term as governor after an unsuccessful bid for president in 2016, has built a big financial advantage and run more than a dozen television ads touting his record of the past eight years.

The Democratic Governors Association, fearful that whoever emerges from the primary will be broke, has been working to shore up money and other support for Tuesday's winner.

Follow LIVE Wisconsin Primary Election results below from local news sources:


8 Democrats seek to challenge Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

The Democrats were largely united on the issues. They opposed a potential $10 billion Foxconn Technology Group development Walker secured with President Donald Trump's administration; supported legalization of marijuana; and favored scaling back Walker's signature law that effectively ended collective bargaining for public workers.

The Wisconsin Republican Party accused the Democrats of engaging in a "dangerous race to the left" in an attempt to beat Walker, whose only GOP challenger, Robert Meyer, did not actively campaign.

The Democratic front-runner, state schools Superintendent Tony Evers, had a double-digit lead in a July poll by Marquette University Law School, but more than a third of respondents were undecided.

Evers was the only candidate to have won statewide office before. In his third term as state superintendent, he focused his campaign on Walker, arguing that he has failed public schools while diverting funding to expand private school vouchers. Republicans portrayed Evers as a bureaucrat who wasn't aggressive enough in revoking licenses from teachers accused of wrongdoing in the classroom.

Only four other Democrats raised enough to run television ads ahead of the primary: former state Rep. Kelda Roys, state firefighters union leader Mahlon Mitchell, former state party leader Matt Flynn and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

The other candidates are state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, political activist Mike McCabe and corporate attorney Josh Pade, none of whom ever seemed to get traction among donors or in the polls.

Roys made a splash with a March campaign video showing her breastfeeding her newborn daughter.

She made abortion rights a focus of her campaign and would be the state's first woman governor if elected. She received the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Mitchell is a Madison firefighter who ran as the lieutenant governor candidate in a failed of Walker in 2012. He was backed by labor unions and would be the state's first black governor. Mitchell said in a television ad that he would "fight against racism and division." He was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

Both Roys, 39, and Mitchell, 41, argue it's time for the younger generation to have a voice in Democratic politics -- a jab at the 66-year-old Evers.

Flynn resisted bipartisan calls to drop out over his work as attorney for the Milwaukee Archdiocese when it was fighting priest abuse claims in the 1990s. Flynn focused his campaign on opposition to the Foxconn project.

Soglin, 73, is the oldest candidate and has been mayor of the capital city off and on since 1973, for a total of 22 years. He ran an ad portraying Walker as a puppet controlled by Trump.

Ryan's retirement fuels Democrats' hopes of picking up seat

House Speaker Paul Ryan's retirement creates an opening in his southeastern Wisconsin congressional district for the first time in 20 years, fueling hopes among Democrats that they can pick up the seat that leans Republican.

But a former Ryan aide from a prominent family in his hometown of Janesville is looking to keep the district bordering Illinois under GOP control, even if there's a Democratic "blue wave." Bryan Steil, who won Ryan's endorsement, was the front-runner in a five-way Republican primary Tuesday for the chance to run for Ryan's 1st District seat in November.

On the Democratic side, union ironworker Randy Bryce drew national attention and money when he entered the race a year ago with a splashy launch video.

The thickly mustachioed Bryce, who goes by the nickname "Iron Stache," entered the race months before Ryan's April retirement and has raised about $6 million -- six times what primary challenger Cathy Myers brought in.

Bryce has also snagged big-name endorsements from the likes of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who campaigned for Bryce in Wisconsin, and labor activist Dolores Huerta.

But personal baggage, including a history of legal and financial trouble , has plagued Bryce and fueled attacks from Myers, a teacher and Janesville school board member. She argues that Bryce's past, which includes failure to pay child support and a 20-year-old drunken-driving arrest, makes him unreliable and unelectable.

Steil is an attorney who has worked for a variety of manufacturers in the district. Since 2016, he's also served as a member of the University of Wisconsin board of trustees, appointed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

In other Wisconsin congressional races:

   -- 3rd District: In this Milwaukee district, seven-term Democratic incumbent Gwen Moore faced a longshot challenge from Gary George, a former state senator who was convicted of a felony in a kickback scheme in 2004 and ran unsuccessfully against Moore in 2014 and 2016. On the Republican side, deliveryman Tim Rogers faced Cindy Werner, a U.S. Army veteran who moved to Milwaukee 18 months ago from Texas.
   -- 5th District: In the suburban Milwaukee district, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the second-longest serving member of the House first elected in 1978, faced his first primary in a decade, with pediatrician Jennifer Vipond making her first run for office.
   -- 7th District: In this northern Wisconsin district, Democrats Margaret Engebretson, an attorney, and Brian Ewert, a doctor, were battling for a chance to take on Republican Rep. Sean Duffy.

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.