The next presidential election is more than a year away. But the campaign season officially kicks off tonight with the first Republican presidential debate. It seems only fitting it be held in Wisconsin. Both Republicans and Democrats want to win Wisconsin badly. Wisconsin was one of the “bluewall” states that Donald Trump won in 2016, only to vote Democrat four years later. This is expected to be one of, if not the most, hotly contested states in the next election. That means the candidates will be spending a lot of time and money here. In addition to tonight’s debate that puts Wisconsin in the spotlight, in July Milwaukee will host the Republican National Convention, where either Donald Trump or one of the other 8 candidates to take the stage tonight will accept the nomination. We haven’t seen many ads yet, but they are coming. The Biden administration has rolled out a Wisconsin-specific ad featuring a Milwaukee cement worker praising what the President has done to help “real people.” And so it begins, officially, tonight in Milwaukee. And it won’t stop until November of 2024, and hopefully no later. Welcome to campaign season, where once again Wisconsin is ground zero.