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Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz walks off the Senate floor between votes at the Capitol in Washington on July 19, 2022.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Ted Cruz bucks Trump in Wisconsin governor’s race. It’s not the first time.

Cruz also broke with Trump in Senate races in Ohio and Pennsylvania.


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Tuesday endorsed former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in the Wisconsin governor's race, once again breaking with former President Donald Trump in a competitive GOP primary.

Trump has backed businessman Tim Michels in the race, but Cruz announced he would be backing Kleefisch ahead of the state's Aug. 9 primary. Kleefisch served with former GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who has also endorsed her in the race and appeared in some of her campaign ads.

And it's not the first time Cruz has endorsed an opposing candidate in a top primary. The Texas Republican also backed former state treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio's Senate race and former hedge fund manager David McCormick in Pennsylvania's Senate race. Both lost their primaries to Trump-backed candidates.

Michels, who has self-funded his campaign, has outspent Kleefisch on the airwaves, spending $7.5 million on ads so far to Kleefisch's nearly $3.2 million, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact.

It's not immediately clear what impact Cruz's endorsement could have on the governor's race, but the two-term senator did beat Trump in the Wisconsin primary back in 2016. Cruz won 48% of the vote, while Trump won 35%.