Republicans should vote for Rebecca Kleefisch

With the midterm elections fast approaching, it will be imperative for Wisconsin Republicans to defeat Governor Tony Evers. If Republicans can take control of the governor’s office, they can pass crucial school choice legislation, tax reform and invest more in public safety.

Although the political landscape looks favorable for Republicans in Wisconsin in the next election cycle, their victory is not guaranteed. The Wisconsin Republicans have lost 11 of the last 12 statewide races. Therefore, it’s understandable that there seems to be a lot of public unease among Republicans about whether they have a formidable and qualified candidate to defeat Evers in November.

In theory, Republicans should nominate a candidate who retains established credibility and experience in conservative politics, motivates and relates to grassroots activists, can appeal to younger and older voters, and holds a clear and defensible political agenda.

Rebecca Kleefisch is the candidate who has all the tools and characteristics necessary to defeat Evers.

Kleefisch served as Scott Walker’s lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2019. She was in tune with Governor Walker as the administration passed conservative reforms such as Bill 10, which dealt with a $3.6 billion budget deficit by limiting the bargaining power of public sector unions.

The Walker-Kleefisch administration would face the wrath of nearly 100,000 thousands of demonstrators after the adoption of the legislation. Protesters occupied the Wisconsin Capitol for almost two weeksbut Walker and Kleefisch did not move.

The protest culminated in the 2012 recall election, in which both Walker and Kleefisch were on the ballot. Both were vindicated when Wisconsin voters re-elected the pair by a higher percentage than they were initially elected in 2010.

Shouldn’t Republicans want to nominate a candidate like Kleefisch — a candidate who not only has a track record of enacting conservative reforms, but has also successfully championed them?

Some people might argue that Kleefisch’s role as lieutenant governor was limited and that Walker should receive full credit for passing the law. To refute this claim, listen to what Walker said about Kleefisch. In 2019, three years before the next gubernatorial election, Walker encouraged Kleefisch to run.

“I think she would win, and I think she would be a damn good governor if elected,” Walker said. Told the Milwaukee Press Club.

Walker knows Kleefisch’s ability to govern better than anyone. If he had enough confidence in his ability to encourage him to run publicly three years ago, Republicans’ questions about his ability to govern should be allayed.

Walker doubled his confidence earlier this year and officially approved Kleefisch.

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Although he served as lieutenant governor for eight years and won elections three times, Kleefisch is not a traditional Republican. She is a grassroots activist who worked her way to the top of state politics without losing her connection to the grassroots.

In 2010, as she ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, no one thought Kleefisch would win. She was a former news anchor who was simply concerned about high taxes and government waste. However, although very few party officials took her candidacy seriously, she worked and defeated other establishment-backed candidates to win the Republican nomination.

Kleefisch hasn’t lost his connection to the grassroots, even as his political profile grows. In the April election, she invested in local school board elections and saw 81 of her 116 approved candidates to win.

Often when a politician serves multiple terms and achieves high profile in the media, they lose touch with the grassroots and develop a reputation as a “political insider”. Kleefisch has not lost his touch; instead, she strengthened her ties with grassroots activists by focusing on grassroots issues.

It is essentially inevitable that Democrats, at least for the foreseeable future, will always outperform Republicans among young people. However, the under-30 electoral bloc will be crucial in the upcoming gubernatorial election.

In 2018, when Tony Evers defeated Scott Walker in the gubernatorial contest, voters under 30 backed Evers by a 23-point margin, 60% to 37%. Compared to 2014when Scott Walker defeated Mary Burke, voters under 30 only backed Burke by a 4-point margin, 51% to 47%.

There is no better Republican to identify with young voters than a mother who has shown a unique ability to enthuse crowds of young adults and young women in particular. Kleefisch served as executive director of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, where she spearheaded the nation’s efforts to commemorate and educate America on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. If elected, she will be the first female governor in state history.

Finally, Kleefisch has a specific political vision for the state of Wisconsin. She doesn’t just introduce herself as a “stranger” or a former lieutenant governor; she has her own plan to solve the problems facing the people of Wisconsin. After losing re-election in 2018, she spent time traveling the state to learn about the issues people are facing, turning those issues into an action plan with solutions.

Thanks to its political organization, the Project 1848, she outlined specific solutions to invest in workers, improve public education, improve health care, reform big government and protect public safety. Kleefisch isn’t just running on a platform that she’ll “get things done in Madison,” but has a practical plan to address the issues facing Wisconsin residents.

It’s not unhealthy for a party to have competitive primaries, but Republicans should remember that Rebecca Kleefisch has a proven track record of enacting and championing conservative reform. She identifies with the grassroots and can communicate effectively with young people. She has a forward-looking political vision for the state of Wisconsin.

Rebecca Kleefisch is the best candidate Republicans can name to defeat Tony Evers.

Tripp Grebe is a junior majoring in political science and history. Do you agree that Rebecca Kleefisch is the best Republican candidate for governor of Wisconsin? Send all comments to [email protected].

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