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Some $3.5 million has been spent supporting liberal candidates and $3.4 million supporting conservative candidates in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

That’s according to a report by media tracking firm AdImpact on Feb. 14, 2023, seven days before the primary election.

Four candidates are running in the primary. The two with the most votes will compete in the April 4 spring election.

Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow and Daniel Kelly, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, are the conservatives. Dane County Judge Everett Mitchell and Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz are the liberals.

Total spending — by the candidates and outside groups, for advertising, mailings and other purposes — surpassed $10 million in the 2020 Supreme Court election, according to the nonprofit Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks campaign spending.

That was a record for a Wisconsin Supreme Court race, exceeding $8.2 million spent in the 2019 race, the group said.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


AdImpact Politics: Wisconsin’s Supreme Court primary is 1 week away. We’ve seen $3.5M spent supporting liberal candidates and $3.4M supporting conservative candidates.If a liberal candidate wins this spring’s general election, it would mark the court’s first liberal majority since 2008.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign: 2020 Supreme Court Race Cost Record-Shattering $10M

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Tom Kertscher / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.