Democratic Gov. Tony Evers hasn’t announced whether he’s running for re-election in 2022, but on the Republican side, the race may already be heating up.
Longtime lobbyist Bill McCoshen, who served as an aide and commerce secretary under former Gov. Tommy Thompson, is considering jumping into the race for governor as a Republican.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Conservative Digest reported McCoshen is running for governor in 2022 and will officially announce his bid this summer. In a text message, however, McCoshen stopped short of confirming a run.
“There are still a few more steps in the exploratory process,” McCoshen said. “I won’t make a final decision until June.”
McCoshen has long been involved in Wisconsin politics. He served as campaign manager, chief of staff and from 1994 to 1998 commerce secretary under Thompson, one of the most popular governors in Wisconsin history. McCoshen is also the founder and president of the Janesville Jets NAHL club and chairman of the North American Hockey League, as well as owner of Capitol Consultants, a lobbying firm.
McCoshen would almost certainly face competition for the Republican nomination. Former Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is almost certain to launch a 2022 bid for governor.
Also in the Republican mix is Reince Priebus, former chief of staff to President Donald Trump and former leader of the Wisconsin and national Republican parties, who is reportedly considering bids for either Wisconsin governor or U.S. Senate.
Kevin Nicholson, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2018, told the Wisconsin State Journal last year he’ll run again for the Senate if Johnson opts out. If Johnson decides to run again, Nicholson said he’ll run for governor instead.
Other Republicans considering a possible run for governor next year include Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher and former U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy.
'Every aspect of our lives has been turned on its head': The COVID-19 pandemic one year on
A year into a once-in-a-century pandemic, Madison and Wisconsin continue to grapple with a virus that's killed thousands, destroyed businesses, upended school and changed nearly all aspects of everyday life.
It's been 12 months of grief, shutdowns, reopenings, protective measures, partisan fighting, lawsuits and loss. And now, hope.
“Truly every aspect of our lives has been turned on its head,” said Malia Jones, a UW-Madison infectious disease epidemiologist.
"If you would have told me last March that we'd be virtual for a year, I'd never, ever would have believed it."
"We’re used to taking whatever comes through the door," said nurse Maria Hanson, who started journaling about the pandemic soon after treating the patient.
"It’s a risk vs. reward thing and I risk my life to save others," said Brandon Jones, who always worried about bringing the virus home to his wife and two kids.
“Usually a funeral is a major step in understanding that a life was lived and the person is now gone,” he said. “If families don’t get that, it’s just really hard.”
Rev. Marcus Allen knew what bringing everyone together could do for their spiritual and mental health. But each time he considered reopening the church, COVID-19 cases surged.
"I was getting my work done from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day," she said.
“Reporting the death counts out day after day was draining,” she said. “It felt like I was announcing a funeral every day.”
A year into a once-in-a-century pandemic, Madison and Wisconsin continue to grapple with a virus that's killed thousands, destroyed businesses…
COVID-19 changed nearly everything about our world, even how we see it. Here are some of the State Journal's top images of the pandemic.