The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, announced its endorsement of Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers for governor of Wisconsin.
In November, Evers will face incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, who has made anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of his political career.
“HRC is proud to endorse Tony Evers for governor of Wisconsin,” said HRC Wisconsin state director Wendy Strout. “After seven years of Scott Walker’s attacks on our community, it’s more important than ever we elect a pro-equality governor who will fight day in and day out to uphold the Wisconsin values of fairness, justice and equality. Superintendent Evers has been a tireless ally for LGBTQ Wisconsinites, and he will be a vital voice for the community and all Wisconsinites in the governor’s mansion. We look forward to mobilizing Wisconsin’s 560,000 equality voters this November and working with him to move equality forward across the Badger State."
“As a longtime champion of LGBTQ equality, I am proud to accept the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” said Evers. “Here in Wisconsin, we've watched the LGBTQ community come under attack for the last seven years, and seen all the progress we've made toward equality threatened. I promise to continue to be a strong ally and advocate for LGBTQ rights as governor, and will make sure that we protect the gains we've made for the LGBTQ community in Wisconsin and push to secure full equality for everyone in our state.”
Evers, said HRC, has a long career championing public education as a teacher, principal, district administrator and now state superintendent.
HRC said Evers is committed to rebuilding the state’s economy, reinvesting in children’s education and supporting Wisconsin’s working families.
During his three terms as superintendent, Evers has proven to be a powerful ally to LGBTQ Wisconsinites.
He has fought attempts to preempt local non-discrimination ordinances; supported legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy;” and supported expanding state non-discrimination law to include gender identity and expression.
HRC has also endorsed Mandela Barnes for lieutenant governor.
In the general election, Evers will face anti-LGBTQ extremist Walker, who is seeking a third term.
Walker’s record includes supporting Wisconsin's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, vetoing a bill to provide domestic partner benefits to workers and attempting to kill a domestic partner registry.
He also supports banning qualified transgender people from serving in the military, saying he “wouldn’t change” the Trump-Pence administration’s unconstitutional policy. Walker’s running mate, Rebecca Kleefisch, also has a long history of peddling extremist, anti-LGBTQ ideologies.
HRC has identified more than half a million Wisconsinites as likely “equality voters” — voters who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies.
HRC has prioritized investments and organizing in Wisconsin in the 2018 cycle, and has staff and resources on the ground in the state as part of the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.