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ELECTION 2022 | ATTORNEY GENERAL

A 'gutter campaign': Sheriffs blast GOP attorney general candidate Adam Jarchow

A group of nearly a dozen sheriffs denounced Republican state attorney general contender Adam Jarchow for promoting misinformation and false attacks that they called “unparalleled in recent memory of political campaigns in the state.”

A small percentage of voters and witnesses made mistakes on their absentee ballot certificates in 2020. Here are some examples of the kinds of errors that were either allowed or corrected by the clerk in order to permit the ballot to be counted.

The law enforcement officials accused Jarchow’s campaign of promoting “false and misleading information” to voters through emails, texts and social media posts, chiefly about his main GOP opponent in the race for attorney general, Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney.

Most of the sheriffs who signed on to the statement have endorsed Toney and they do not cite any specific purported falsehoods that Jarchow has made. Toney said the statement was referring to Jarchow’s attacks on Toney’s record enforcing Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ COVID-19 restrictions.

The group includes Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt, Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman, Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve and Sheboygan County Sheriff Cory Roeseler.

“His gutter campaign seems to have no limit,” the group said of Jarchow, a former state representative from Balsam Lake.

“His strategy is indicative of a professional politician — when you have little to no record of accomplishments relative to the office you’re seeking then you lie and spread false information to diminish your opponent,” they said.

In response to the statement, Jarchow blasted Toney over a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that letters and text messages show Toney told his friends he voted for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, though he has stated publicly he voted for Donald Trump.

“So now he’s trying to distract from that by waging disingenuous attacks on my long record of supporting law enforcement,” Jarchow said in a statement.

In an interview, Toney disputed the claim he voted for the two previous Democratic presidential candidates, saying the claims stem from broken personal relationships.

“The reality is I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020,” Toney said.

The contest between Jarchow and Toney has seen repeated attacks between the candidates over who has the more legitimate conservative credentials to take on incumbent Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul in the Nov. 8 general election.

Jarchow has put out multiple ads chastising Toney for charging 10 Fond du Lac residents for violating Evers’ original stay-at-home order in April 2020. Toney has said his responsibility as a district attorney is “to enforce the rule of law, whether or not I agree with or like the law” and noted the charges were later dismissed.

“What’s clear is Jarchow’s campaign has nothing to do with his own prosecution skills or experience in a court room,” the sheriffs said. “He has no experience whatsoever.”

“As Jarchow seeks the office of ‘top cop,’ the lies he’s spread about DA Toney would make Jarchow ineligible to be a police officer if he held that position in the state of Wisconsin,” the statement said.

Jarchow, who is a practicing business attorney, has his own contingent of endorsements from county sheriffs and police chiefs and far outpaces Toney in support from past and present state representatives and senators. Last month, Jarchow’s campaign released a policy platform that would waive college tuition for police officers and forgive their student loans.

The GOP primary for attorney general is Aug. 9.

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