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Daniel Kelly and Janet Protasiewicz
Daniel Kelly and Janet Protasiewicz. John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal via AP

Supreme showdown: A quiet week ahead of Wisconsin debate

The state's closely watched supreme court race had a few new developments this week but debate looms next week.


With just over two weeks to go before Wisconsin’s contentious state Supreme Court election, there were a few developments in the race this week.

 Face to face: Both candidates — Judge Janet Protasiewicz and former Justice Daniel Kelly — are preparing for what appears to be their only debate, which will take place in Madison on Tuesday. 

National attention: Earlier this week, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced she is endorsing Protasiewicz in the race. The race is officially nonpartisan, but Protasiewicz is the more liberal candidate in the race, running with the support of many Democrats.

In her endorsement, Clinton highlighted Protasiewicz's stance on abortion, saying, "[Protasiewicz] is the progressive candidate who believes women should be able to make their own health care decisions."

The spending race: Since the Feb. 21 primary, which eliminated two additional candidates, Protasiewicz’s campaign has been outspending Kelly and the groups backing him on TV campaign ads, according to AdImpact, an ad-tracking firm. Since the primary, Protasiewicz’s campaign has spent over $4.5 million on ads, while Kelly’s campaign hasn’t spent any money on TV ads. Yet the groups backing Kelly have spent a combined $4.3 million on the airwaves so far.

Protasiewicz's campaign has attacked Kelly's judicial history as a defense attorney, while Kelly's allies have similarly attacked Protasiewicz's rulings as a judge.