- Views & Opinions
Gov. Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign committee has only $160,000 cash on hand, according to The Associated Press.
Walker’s financial filing today shows that he spent almost as much as he raised in the first six months of the year: He raised $1.1 million and spent $970,000.
Still, he’s better off financially today than he was at the end of 2015, when just $20,000 was in his campaign account.
Walker has hinted he plans to run for a third term in 2018, and low cash reserves would encourage would-be challengers. Some political observers also believe that his support for presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump could make him vulnerable, depending on how the rest of the Republican campaign plays out.
The governor was an ardent foe of Trump last year while campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination. Despite burning through $90,000 a day, he was the first of the party’s 17 hopefuls to exit the race.
Walker’s campaign and the dark-money groups supporting him spent a total of $32.6 million on his flameout presidential bid, according to www.opensecrets.org.
Eighty-two percent of the donations made to Walker’s presidential campaign came from outside the state.
Walker’s presidential campaign committee still had a debt of $807,000 at the end of May. He’s tried numerous tactics to retire that debt, including selling his donor list and offering T-shirts from his failed campaign in exchange for $45 donations.
When he dropped out of the race, Walker said he hoped to encourage other candidates to do so as well in order to allow voters to coalesce around presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
But the governor, who was the subject of Trump attacks, says he’ll put them aside for the good of the country and will speak at the Republican National Convention, which takes place in Cleveland July 18–21.
Three weeks ago, Walker said that he believed GOP convention delegates should be free to vote their consciences instead of being bound to vote for Trump, who won the state’s primary.
But Walker has since backed off the idea that Trump could be replaced as the nominee. He told he told WKOW-TV that a vote for anyone other than Trump is a “de facto vote” for Hillary Clinton.
Other prominent Wisconsin Republicans who had been distancing themselves from Trump are also acquiescing. House Speaker Paul Ryan has tepidly endorsed the TV reality star, even though he says Trump’s style is offense and divisive.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who faces a tough re-election bid against former Sen. Russ Feingold, now says he’ll attend the GOP convention after earlier saying that he wouldn’t.
Even right-wing radio star Mark Belling has come around to supporting Trump.
For those of you not familiar with me, I’ve been one of those guys that’s kind of had the heebie-jeebies over Donald Trump. But I’m voting for Donald Trump,” he told his conservative listeners on July 14. “I’m comfortable with my decision, and, while I’m not going to try to pressure anyone to coming around to that point of view, I think it’s the right thing to do.”