MADISON, Wis. — Conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly's campaign raised more than half-a-million dollars over the last half of 2019, easily outpacing his two liberal-leaning challengers.
The candidates had a Wednesday deadline to submit campaign finance reports covering activity over the last six months to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The reports are important because they can show which candidates are resonating with voters and who has the most money to bolster their campaigns.
Kelly's campaign manager, Charles Nichols, said Kelly's reports will show he raised $556,180 over the period. That brings his fundraising total for all of 2019 to about $800,000. He finished the year with $572,970 in the bank.
Those numbers easily eclipsed opponents Jill Karofsky and Ed Fallone's totals.
Karofsky's campaign said Tuesday that she raised about $227,500 over the period, bringing her yearly take to about $348,600. She finished the year with $181,270 in the bank.
Fallone released figures Wednesday that show he raised $77,300 over the last half of the year, bringing his yearly total to $150,700. He had $42,220 on hand.
Kelly, Karofsky and Fallone will face each other in a three-way primary on Feb. 18. The top two vote-getters will advance to the April 7 general election.
State Supreme Court races are officially nonpartisan, but Republicans are backing Kelly and Democrats support Karofsky and Fallone. President Donald Trump endorsed Kelly during a rally in Milwaukee on Tuesday, urging people to vote for him because he'll defend "the rule of law in Wisconsin."
Karofsky's campaign tweeted in response to Trump's endorsement that Karofsky will stand up to corruption and Republicans can't handle that.
Fallone said he's trying to keep politics out of the race. The people will select the next state Supreme Court Justice, not Trump, he said.