Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Evers launches bid for second term

FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a...
FILE - In this April 27, 2021, file photo, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaks with media at a news conference in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin will receive $700 million less than initially expected in federal coronavirus relief money and get it in two payments a year apart, news that Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said Tuesday, May 11, 2021 was problematic.(AP Photo/Scott Bauer File)
Published: Jun. 5, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 8:50 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV/AP) — Kicking off his bid with a tweet that began Holy Mackarel!, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is making it official.

He announced his bid for a second term in the battleground state where he stands as a Democratic block to the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

“This is the moment where we can choose to fix the big problems in Wisconsin and bounce back stronger than ever before,” Evers said.

Evers told The Associated Press in an interview that he decided to run again because he has unfinished business and needs to remain a check on Republicans through his veto powers.

Evers announced his plans during the Wisconsin Democratic Convention, which was held virtually Saturday for a second year in a row.

“We’ve accomplished a lot in the last few years, but we’re just getting started. We have more work to do, together,” he continued.

In his speech, Evers told Democrats that he intended to focus a second administration on “doing what’s best for our kids, creating good-paying jobs, fixing our infrastructure, supporting small businesses, and making sure everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

This announcement could not be considered much of a surprise given that Evers released the names of the senior leadership for re-election bid, led by campaign manager Cassi Felini, who served in the number two role in Evers’ successful 2018 run.

The first three and a half years of Evers’ term have been marked both by clashes with the GOP-led Legislature. Several Republicans are considering running against him.

Within minutes of Evers’ announcement, the Wisconsin Republicans fired back, accusing the governor of both mismanaging the state and ‘being asleep at the wheel.’

“Evers has nothing to run on except a record of abysmal failure and absent leadership,” GOP Chair Andrew Hitt said.

Hitt criticized the Evers Administration for not moving on the issues over unemployment claims that plagued the state following the closures following the pandemic and the current problems finding workers that business leaders argue have come with the recovery over the next month.

He also blasted Evers over his handling of the protests in Kenosha and the coronavirus-related school closings.

Like the Evers campaign, the state Democratic Chair Ben Winkler accused the Republicans in the Assembly of obstruction with Evers programs and initiatives and during Saturday night’s event assured fellow Democrats that the party is “unified, energized, and ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with Governor Evers.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.