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“Scramble,” “Hurdles,” “Grenade” — Donald Trump’s Encouragement of Sean Duffy Run Delivers Massive Blow to Rebecca Kleefisch

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Donald Trump stirred up the Wisconsin GOP primary for governor this week by encouraging a run from Sean Duffy, snubbing Rebecca Kleefisch. The aftermath of Trump’s statement has been disastrous for Kleefisch, who earlier said, “I hope that Donald Trump gets involved in this race.” Kleefisch and her campaign have yet to comment on Trump’s statement.

Here’s just a sample of what local media in Wisconsin are saying:

  • Wisconsin Right Now: “President Donald Trump dropped a grenade into the middle of the Wisconsin governor’s race.”
  • Wisconsin Examiner: “It seems Rebecca Kleefisch cannot get a break with her fellow Republicans … Trump’s praise and his message urging Duffy to run in a primary against Kleefisch to challenge Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, comes despite the fact that Kleefisch’s far-right stances already mimic Trump.”
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Former President Donald Trump’s plea to former congressman Sean Duffy to mount a run for governor has scrambled the race and raised the possibility of an intense Republican primary.”
  • WISN 12: “Whether Duffy runs, the statement may offer a blow to other Republican campaigns, most notably former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.”
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Trump’s statement could signal hurdles for Kleefisch as she works to unify the Republican grassroots with whom Trump remains popular.”

“A Donald Trump-endorsed bid from Sean Duffy would spin the Wisconsin GOP primary into chaos,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “If Duffy jumps in, he and Kleefisch will be forced into a brutal battle for the far-right base. The chaotic race to the right will expose Kleefisch’s out-of-touch policies and prove that she’s radically wrong for Wisconsin.”