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 among Wisconsin statewide officeholders and candidates, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for statewide elected offices submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. It includes activity between July 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022.
Statewide political positions are typically offices in the executive and judicial branches of government rather than the legislative, and they most often represent all citizens in the state, rather than those in a particular district.
Top Wisconsin statewide fundraisers by party
The top fundraisers among Wisconsin statewide officeholders and candidates are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they were on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable. If no office is indicated, the person was an incumbent and was not on the ballot in 2022.
In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Tony Evers (Governor) – $20,644,554
- Josh Kaul (Attorney General) – $2,660,363
- Sara Rodriguez (Lieutenant Governor) – $1,111,475
- Douglas J. La Follette (Secretary of State) – $206,024
- Peng Her (Lieutenant Governor) – $181,290
In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Tim Michels (Governor) – $26,786,885
- Rebecca Kleefisch (Governor) – $955,555
- Eric Toney (Attorney General) – $855,570
- Roger Roth (Lieutenant Governor) – $433,274
- Amy Loudenbeck (Secretary of State) – $262,511
Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $25.0 million in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $29.8 million. Combined, all statewide officeholders and candidates in the July 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022, filing period raised $54.8 million.
The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 99 percent of all Democratic statewide officeholder and candidate fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 98 percent of all Republican statewide officeholder and candidate fundraising.
The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top 10 fundraisers during this period.
|TOP 10 FUNDRAISERS – Wisconsin STATEWIDE OFFICEHOLDERS AND CANDIDATES (July 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022)|
|Name||Party Affiliation||Office Sought||Raised||Spent|
|Tim Michels||Republican Party||Governor||$26,786,885||$20,176,058|
|Governor Tony Evers||Democratic Party||Governor||$20,644,554||$28,048,057|
|Attorney General Josh Kaul||Democratic Party||Attorney General||$2,660,363||$4,438,790|
|Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez||Democratic Party||Lieutenant Governor||$1,111,475||$1,221,071|
|Rebecca Kleefisch||Republican Party||Governor||$955,555||$3,712,353|
|Eric Toney||Republican Party||Attorney General||$855,570||$906,068|
|Roger Roth||Republican Party||Lieutenant Governor||$433,274||$841,348|
|Amy Loudenbeck||Republican Party||Secretary of State||$262,511||$419,587|
|Secretary of State Douglas J. La Follette||Democratic Party||Secretary of State||$206,024||$226,447|
|Peng Her||Democratic Party||Lieutenant Governor||$181,290||$126,293|
Campaign finance reporting periods
The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate committees submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Candidate committees 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 committees. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines.