Senate, gubernatorial candidates visit Southeast Wisconsin

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Candidates from all of the biggest state-wide races paid a visit to Southeast Wisconsin Saturday, all getting their messages out with just 45 days until Election Day.

National eyes are on Wisconsin's tight Senate race between Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes, and our gubernatorial race between Democrat incumbent Tony Evers and Republican challenger Tim Michels.

All four pitched their platforms to Southeast Wisconsinites on Saturday, Sept. 24.

In the morning, Democrats met in Milwaukee at the Washington Park Senior Center.

Mandela Barnes spoke about supporting union work and protecting elections.

He defended himself from claims made in ads from Ron Johnson that he wants to defund police. Instead of defunding the police, he wants them to have the money and training they need.

Barnes also voiced his opposition to the cash bail system, saying Johnson is misrepresenting his views.

"He's mischaracterizing an issue that Democrats and Republicans have come together to support all across the country, and again, the commercials they are running are disgusting," said Senate candidate and current Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes.

At the Wisconsin 1st District's Republican Fall Fest, Senator Johnson spoke about wanting better border security, and stopping inflation and drug overdoses.

He defended what his ads say about Barnes, and denied accusations that he wants to defund Social Security.

"What elected official would ever say that?" asked Johnson, speaking to the accusation. "I certainly wouldn't. I want to save Social Security. What I'm trying to point out is the greatest threat to any government program is our massive, out of control deficit."

At the senior center, Tony Evers said he's hoping supporting a woman's right to choose will be a motivating factor for undecided voters he says will be attracted to his Wisconsin-focused platforms.

"Education, infrastructure, fixing the roads, those type of things that supersede Democrats and Republicans," said Evers,

Michels spoke in Racine County as well. Abortion was not something he brought up.

Instead, he advocated for state-wide school choice legislation, criticized critical race theory, Evers vetoing numerous bills passed by Republicans, and prison early release programs.

"He made a pledge that he was going to halve, cut in half, the prison population, unfortunately he is well on his way to doing it, he has released 900 convicted felons," said Michels.

The latest Marquette Law School poll shows the race for governor and U.S. Senate tightening in Wisconsin.

Governor Tony Evers is holding a three-point edge over Tim Michels among likely voters.

In the race for Senate, Ron Johnson now has a two-point lead over Mandela Barnes among likely voters.

Both races are within the margin of error.

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