Donald Trump and Mike Pence are facing off in another proxy fight in a competitive governor's race.
The former president and vice president are backing rivals in Wisconsin's GOP gubernatorial primary.
Pence has endorsed former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, while Trump is backing Tim Michels.
Former Vice President Mike Pence is again breaking from former President Donald Trump with an endorsement, this time in the Republican gubernatorial primary in Wisconsin.
Pence on Wednesday announced his support for Rebecca Kleefisch, who served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Scott Walker. Trump is backing the businessman and construction executive Tim Michels for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
"Rebecca Kleefisch is the only candidate that will deliver a stronger and more prosperous Wisconsin, and I am proud to support her," Pence said in his endorsement. "Rebecca has a proven conservative track record and will draw on her experience to give parents more control of their children's education, grow the economy and get Wisconsin back to work, fight for traditional conservative values, and make Wisconsin streets safer."
Kleefisch has also been endorsed by other potential 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls including Sen. Ted Cruz, former Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa.
The Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial primary on August 9 is now set to be the third instance in the 2022 primaries in which Trump and Pence have found themselves in a proxy fight over a swing-state governor's race. In all three cases, Trump's lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him loomed large and heavily shaped the race.
Pence and Trump found themselves on the opposite sides of the Georgia governor's race in May, when the Trump-backed primary challenger David Perdue, largely running on Trump's election grievances, lost handily to Gov. Brian Kemp, the incumbent Republican whom Pence endorsed and stumped for in the final days of the race.
Pence and Trump — both considered likely to run for president in 2024 — gave dueling speeches Tuesday outlining their respective visions for the GOP. Trump's nearly hour-and-a-half-long speech began with a grisly recounting of crime before veering into mockery of transgender people and his usual grievances about the 2020 election and his political enemies.
Pence, speaking at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, gave his classic stump speech and touted the accomplishments of the Trump-Pence administration.
"I couldn't be more proud of the record of the Trump-Pence administration," Pence said in response to a question from a college student. "I don't know that our movement is that divided. I don't know that the president and I differ on issues, but we may differ in focus."
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