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Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels speaks alongside former President Donald Trump at a rally on Aug. 5, 2022, in Waukesha.
Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels speaks alongside former President Donald Trump at a rally on Aug. 5, 2022, in Waukesha.Morry Gash / AP

Trump's endorsement on the line in Wisconsin and Connecticut

Former president Donald Trump endorsed candidates in Tuesday's primary races in three states.

By and

Tuesday's primary elections in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Connecticut will be another test of the power of former President Donald Trump's endorsement.

Trump has endorsed 12 candidates across three states, including candidates in statewide and national races.


In the Badger State, Trump has endorsed businessman Tim Michels in the hotly contested race for the governor’s mansion. Michels is facing Rebecca Kleefisch, the state’s most recent Republican Lieutenant Governor.

Kleefisch carries the endorsement of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, under whom she served as Lieutenant Governor. She’s also earned endorsements from former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is running for governor in Arkansas.

Most recently, a similar group of endorsers, including Pence, went head to head with Trump in Arizona’s gubernatorial primary. Trump endorsed former news anchor Kari Lake while Pence and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey endorsed businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson. Ultimately, Lake defeated Taylor Robson.

Further down the ballot, Trump has endorsed Rep. Bryan Steil in the First District, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald in the 5th District, retired Navy SEAL Derrick van Orden in Wisconsin’s Third District and Rep. Tom Tiffany in the state’s 7th District.

Van Orden is running unopposed in the Republican primary, but he’ll face an eventual Democratic nominee in the race for this open seat in November. Tiffany faces one primary challenger, David Kunelius, and Stauber faces one challenger named Harry Welty.

Trump has also endorsed in a number of statewide races in Wisconsin, including in a state assembly race where he’s backing Adam Steen. Steen is challenging incumbent Robin Vos, who drew Trump’s ire for failing to overturn the 2020 election in Wisconsin when he didn’t find sufficient evidence of voter fraud.


In Connecticut’s Senate race, Trump endorsed Leora Levy, a GOP fundraiser who Trump once nominated to be Ambassador to Chile, though she was never confirmed. Levy is vying for the Republican nomination and the chance to face Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a general election.

However, she has to get through Tuesday’s primary first, where she faces two opponents. Former state House Minority Leader Themis Klarides is backed by the state Republican party. Perennial candidate Peter Lumaj is also running, but has not drawn any significant support or endorsements.


In Minnesota, Trump has made just three endorsements, in House races where incumbent Republicans face no primary challengers. 

Tom Emmer has represented Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District since 2015 when he ran to replace Michelle Bachmann. Since then, he has faced little opposition and received around 60% of the vote in every re-election year.

Emmer did not vote to object to the election results on January 6, 2021, saying that Congress “does not have the authority to discard an individual slate of electors.” But, he later joined a Texas lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the 2020 election in some states.

Michelle Fischbach, the freshman member of Congress representing Minnesota’s 7th District, is also running unopposed in her primary. One of her first votes as a member of Congress was to object to the certification of the 2020 election results.

Pete Stauber is seeking his third term in Congress to represent Minnesota's 8th District. Following the 2020 election, he signed on to a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election.