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Rebecca Kleefisch
Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch waves during a televised Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial debate in Milwaukee on Sunday.Morry Gash / AP

Pence endorses Kleefisch for governor, setting up another clash with Trump

Trump is backing businessman Tim Michels in the GOP primary.


Former Vice President Mike Pence is endorsing former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch for governor in Wisconsin, another race where Pence is set to go against former President Donald Trump's pick.

"Rebecca Kleefisch is the only candidate that will deliver a stronger and more prosperous Wisconsin, and I am proud to support her,” Pence said in a statement that went on to call her having "a proven conservative track record" and the candidate who will help conservatives "fight back against the radical left in Wisconsin."

Kleefisch, who served as Gov. Scott Walker's running mate, had early on been seen as the frontrunner in the GOP primary to nominate a candidate to run against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. But businessman Tim Michels launched a late bid in April, sinking millions of dollars of his own money into a bid and won the endorsement of Trump as he pulled into a tight race with Kleefisch in public polling.

It's not the first time Pence has endorsed against his former running mate — they have also backed opposing gubernatorial primary candidates in Arizona and Georgia.