Republicans outraise Democrats by 133% in Wisconsin Senate races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Wisconsin State Senate, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the State Senate submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022.

Top fundraisers in the Wisconsin State Senate by party

The top fundraisers in Wisconsin State Senate elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they are on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable.

In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Jeff Smith – $63,318
  • Janet Bewley – $44,438
  • Mark Scheffler (District 19) – $34,195
  • Tripp Stroud (District 17) – $26,400
  • Brad Pfaff – $23,297

In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Patrick Testin – $249,414
  • John Jagler – $221,593
  • Howard Marklein (District 17) – $197,658
  • Roger Roth – $183,174
  • Devin LeMahieu – $178,627

Fundraising totals

Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $329,593 in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $1.65 million. Combined, all State Senate fundraisers in the January 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022, filing period raised $1.98 million.

The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 58 percent of all Democratic State Senate fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 62 percent of all Republican State Senate fundraising.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers during this period.

TOP TEN FUNDRAISERS – WISCONSIN STATE SENATE (January 1, 2021, through January 31, 2022)

NameParty AffiliationRaisedSpent
Patrick TestinRepublican Party$249,414$117,389
John JaglerRepublican Party$221,593$233,088
Howard MarkleinRepublican Party$197,658$14,730
Roger RothRepublican Party$183,174$39,422
Devin LeMahieuRepublican Party$178,627$34,513
Dale KooyengaRepublican Party$172,322$22,948
Jeff SmithDemocratic Party$63,318$6,995
Mary FelzkowskiRepublican Party$62,319$27,357
Alberta DarlingRepublican Party$61,338$43,670
Chris KapengaRepublican Party$48,055$6,406

Campaign finance reporting periods

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs. In 2022, Transparency USA will publish campaign finance data after the following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.




About the author

Kalyn Stralow