GOP Gubernatorial Debate Reveals Right-Wing Candidates’ Intent to Remove Elected Officials From Office Who Disagree With Them

MADISON, Wis. – Republican gubernatorial candidates’ extremism on abortion spiraled out of control in a debate last night. Rebecca Kleefisch and two other candidates vowed to remove local elected officials from office if they do not go along with their support of a 1849 law imposing a near total ban on abortion in Wisconsin, with no exceptions for rape and incest. While not present at the debate, Tim Michels restated his support for the extreme abortion ban, without exceptions, on social media.

“Republican candidates for governor in Wisconsin have made one thing abundantly clear: if you disagree with their extremism on abortion, they would seek to use their power to remove you from office,” said A Better Wisconsin Together Executive Director Chris Walloch. “There’s no better way to classify it other than that these right-wing candidates are openly admitting their intent to carry out a gross abuse of power if elected.”

In addition to describing themselves as elated beyond measure that millions of Wisconsinites will lose access to reproductive healthcare with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, candidates also said they’re “overjoyed” and “relieved” to see Wisconsin’s centuries-old abortion ban go into effect in the Badger State and would remove elected officials from office should they decide not to prosecute the ban.

The candidates also admitted that their extremist beliefs would have a direct impact on their work as governor of Wisconsin, they hope to ban gender affirming care for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin, they don’t believe in the integrity of our election system, and they have no appetite for passing medical or recreational use of marijuana.

“This raises serious questions about the Republican candidates’ fitness to hold a position of public trust and shows just how out of touch they are with every day Wisconsinites,” Walloch said. “It’s clear that while a majority of Wisconsinites openly embrace unity and progress, and support basic rights like the freedom to make decisions about their bodies without interference from politicians, the Republican candidates for governor in Wisconsin don’t.”

But, we can come together to oppose the dangerous, divisive, and discriminatory agenda from extremist politicians like Tim Michels, Rebecca Kleefisch, Tim Ramthun, and Kevin Nicholson. We can disregard division from far-right politicians and make it known that Wisconsinites deserve leaders who want to move us forward, not backward.

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.