In the first half of 2019 Republican lawmakers raised double that of their Democratic counterparts, according to a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign spending.
Republicans, who control the Assembly 63-36 and the Senate 19-14, raised $1.47 million from individuals and political action committees between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Democrats raised about $726,200 in the same span.
In addition, Republican legislative committees raised $17,720 per legislator — about 27% more than the nearly $14,000 per capita raised by Democratic legislative committees.
About half of the total $2.2 million raised went to four committees run by top elected officials — the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, the State Senate Democratic Committee and the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee.
“These legislative campaign committees are run by the top elected officials from both parties in the Assembly and State Senate,” according to the report. “Contributions to these committees give those legislative leaders a lot of leverage over their members. Campaign committees of individual candidates raised about $1.1 million.”
Republicans are looking to gain additional seats in the 2020 election after legal challenges against the GOP-drawn maps were quashed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
During a Tuesday panel hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he wants to see the Assembly reach a majority that could override Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ veto authority.
“I would say, maybe we would pick up a couple seats. I think there are a couple of opportunities for us to actually expand the map,” Vos said. “My goal is to get to 67 (members) because we want to be able to override a veto. So we are not done yet. Just keep your eye on the Assembly Republicans.”