By SCOTT BAUER Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels defended his ties to Wisconsin, saying Monday that he still votes and spends most of his time in the state, after a published report revealed his extensive real estate on the East Coast and that his children attended high school there.
Michels went on the radio to address a report by the conservative website Wisconsin Right Now that detailed more than $30 million worth of property Michels had purchased in New York and Connecticut between 2015 and 2020. The report also showed that his children attended and were graduated from high school on the East Coast between 2013 and 2021.
Michels is in a four-way Republican race for governor. The winner of the August 9 primary will advance to face Democrat Tony Evers.
Michaels, who entered the governor’s race last week, he said in a Monday interview with conservative radio host Dan O’Donnell that he has lived in Wisconsin the minimum 183 days a year to maintain residency, both to vote and to pay taxes. She lived most of 2015 in New York and paid taxes there that year, he said.
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Michels has paid more than $11.2 million in personal income taxes in Wisconsin over the last 10 years, including $7.8 million in the last five years, his campaign said.
To run for governor, a candidate must be a qualified voter in Wisconsin. Records kept by the Wisconsin Election Commission show that Michels has voted in Wisconsin regularly over the past decade, both in person and absentee.
Michels said the only time he has voted absentee was to cast his ballot early from Wisconsin.
“I have never dropped off a ballot in the mail from any other state,” he said.
Michels said his family decided to buy property in New York City after his construction business, Michels Corp., won a $201 million contract for subway work there in 2013. That project ended in 2016.
“We did the right thing for our family,” Michels said. “I did the right thing for the company. But I have always been a resident of Wisconsin. I go where duty calls, where things are difficult.”
Michels emphasized his Wisconsin roots at a launch event that he said was right down the street where he grew up in Dodge County. She still owns a home in Hartland, Waukesha County, and uses that address to vote. In 2020, Michels bought a $17 million home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and still owns the Manhattan penthouse he bought in 2015 for $8.7 million.
“We probably could have moved a few years ago,” Michels said in the radio interview, but said they didn’t want to disrupt their daughter’s senior year of high school. She graduated from a New York high school in 2019, according to the Wisconsin report right now.
Michels also mentioned that her son, now a Dartmouth freshman, was a competitive sailor in high school and a top college recruit.
“There are some very competitive sailings on the east coast of Connecticut, some would say the most competitive, and it worked,” Michels said. top three recruits in the country last year.”
Michels Corp. won another $100 million project in Brooklyn after the subway one was completed, which also required him to be on site a lot, Michels said. He did not say whether that project was ongoing and whether he continues to divide his time between Wisconsin and the East Coast. His campaign spokesman, Chris Walker, said he was looking into it.
“I am the man on the ticket. I’m the one running for governor because I can’t take it anymore,” Michels said in the radio interview. “Anybody that is trying to portray my family as anything other than genuine hardworking people from Wisconsin, it’s just politics.”
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