Spending on legislative races hits record $36 million

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A nonprofit group that tracks campaign finance says spending by candidates and groups in Wisconsin's fall legislative contests hit a record $36 million in 2018.

An analysis by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign shows spending in the Senate and Assembly races increased 27 percent from the $28 million spent in 2016 and was about double the $17 million spent in 2014.

Democracy Campaign executive director Matthew Rothschild tells the State Journal looser campaign finance regulations have allowed donors to spend lavishly on all types of races, relegating the average person in Wisconsin to the role of spectator.

The increased spending in last year's legislative races comes after the GOP overhauled the state's campaign finance law, including allowing increases in contribution limits.