MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democrat Tony Evers, who has said he would consider raising the gas tax if elected governor of Wisconsin and has campaigned on ending a tax break primarily benefiting manufacturers, told a newspaper that he’s not planning to raise any taxes.
Evers, the state schools superintendent, is challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker, with the most recent poll showing the race tied. Walker has vowed not to raise taxes. Evers has been open to a variety of tax hikes while vowing to cut income taxes for the middle class by 10 percent.
But in a Washington Post story published Thursday, Evers said, “I’m planning to raise no taxes.”
Evers spokesman Sam Lau offered little clarity Friday on the contradiction. Lau said that Evers was referring only to his plan for the middle-class tax cut.
“Those details have not changed,” Lau said.
Evers also has repeatedly said “everything is on the table” when considering how to spend more on roads, including a gas tax increase. Evers has not released a plan, saying he wants to talk with interested parties after the election.
Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker is just one GOP gubernatorial candidate facing a headwind in 2018 due President Donald Trump’s low approval rating. (Nov. 2)
Lau did not respond to questions about whether Evers was now taking a different position on his previously announced tax plans.
Walker has said Evers wasn’t releasing details about his proposals because he intends to raise a host of taxes. Evers has called that a lie.
Walker kept up the attack on Twitter Friday.
“Tony Evers will raise taxes,” Walker tweeted. “Tony’s taxes will cost us jobs. Tony’s taxes are a recipe for returning to a recession. We can’t afford to turn back now!”
In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin held a “Women for Tammy” rally in the liberal stronghold of Madison with California Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a likely 2020 presidential candidate. They then headed to Milwaukee for another get-out-the-vote event at a union hall. Baldwin’s Republican opponent, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, was campaigning across the state, ending with a rally in La Crosse with Walker.
Warren, speaking to about 300 supporters in Madison, said Republican control of the White House, U.S. Senate, House and governor’s office was coming to an end.
Both Warren and Baldwin emphasized Democratic support of the Affordable Care Act, which Vukmir , Walker and Republicans have opposed for years and worked to repeal.
“They’re going to try it again,” Baldwin said. “Health care is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Our environment is on the ballot. Our ‘Dreamers’ are on the ballot. Net neutrality is on the ballot. Yes, there’s going to be names on the ballot, but those issues are at stake, all of them.”
Vukmir’s campaign manager, Jess Ward, issued a statement in reaction to the Warren visit where she referred to her as “Pocahontas,” the nickname President Donald Trump his given to Warren. Ward refers to Baldwin as “Tomah Tammy,” a nickname Vukmir has given to Baldwin in relation to her handling of the over-prescription of painkillers at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“After Tomah Tammy looked the other way and let our veterans down at Tomah, she has now decided to campaign with Senator ‘Pocahontas’ Warren who falsely claimed to be a Native American, so she could have preferential employment opportunities,” Ward said. “Leah is a nurse and military mom who has played by the rules, but Tomah Tammy and ‘Pocahontas’ Warren have despicably spent their lives taking advantage our veterans and minorities to advance their careers.”
Warren in October released DNA test results that provide some evidence of a Native American in her lineage. The test has done little to quell criticism of her by Trump and his supporters.
Polls have consistently shown Baldwin with a double-digit lead over Baldwin. A Marquette University Law School poll on Wednesday showed Walker and Evers as dead even.
Early voting broke the record for midterm elections on Wednesday and by Friday it had reached 468,525 people, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The previous record was 374,000 in 2014.